Pulp fiction: Brexiteers have no tomatoes but a great plan for the future
Rishi Sunak tries to get Northern Ireland on board with his Brexit deal with promises of ‘the world’s most exciting economic zone.’
Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.
Spare a thought in these difficult times for the under-stress writer of satirical political content. The following are actual words that came out of an actual human mouth and went into other, actual human ears.
“Northern Ireland is in the unbelievably special position — unique position in the entire world, European continent — in having priviledged access, not just to the U.K. home market, which is enormous, the fifth biggest in the world, but also the European Union single market. Nobody else has that. No one. Only you guys. Only here. And that is the prize … Nowhere else does that exist. That’s like the world’s most exciting economic zone.”
That’s Rishi Sunak — prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — speaking in Belfast as he tried to get the Democratic Unionist Party (whose motto is “Stubborn? Us?” which is not, as many mottos are, available in Latin as that was dubbed “a bit foreign”) to back the Brexit deal he’d just struck with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
If only there was some way of securing access to this magical club for, say, the whole of the U.K. because it sure does sound great. Maybe if there was some kind of union of nations!
Clearly this week’s deal is the latest in a long line of successes for the Brexiteers. Supermarkets Tesco, Aldi and Lidl have all introduced limits of three per customer on sales of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers in what appears to be either an effort to recreate the wartime “Blitz Spirit” or to stop people from throwing vegetables at Brexit-backers such as the Haunted Pencil himself, Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Incidentally, it was revealed by the Telegraph this week that a COVID test for one of Rees-Mogg’s children was sent by courier to the family home (mansion, it’s got to be a mansion) even though there was a nationwide shortage (of tests, not of Rees-Mogg’s kids) at the time. Well done, everyone!
Of course, the EU doesn’t help itself by having multiple presidents and giving different bodies almost the same name as each other — and that causes confusion, even for people who should have worked it all out. For example, in a bid to defuse anger over von der Leyen meeting King Charles while she was on her Brexit deal trip to the U.K., a No. 10 Downing Street spokesperson said: “It’s not uncommon for His Majesty to accept invitations to meet certain leaders, he has met President Duda [of Poland] and President Zelenskyy [of Ukraine] recently. He is meeting with the president of the EU today.”
“President of the EU”!!!
That sound you can hear is Charles Michel screaming. The other sound you can hear is von der Leyen laughing.
“I’ll give you Scotland in exchange for a kilo of tomatoes.’”
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Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.