According to Jean-Claude ‘Junk’ Juncker and Martin ‘Papa’ Schultz, heads of the European Commission and Parliament respectively, we have a crisis on our hands. Britain is holding the whole continent hostage, and it’s up to Junk and Papa to negotiate its release.
Having donned their bullet-proof vests, Junk and Papa whipped out their trusted megaphones and offered a penetrating analysis of the situation.
Junk led the way: “In the end, the British didn’t vote to leave because of the euro. They’re not even members of the currency union.”
It’s reassuring to know that Junk has his facts down pat: he knows that only 19 EU members are in the euro and nine aren’t. Moreover, his perusal of a huge corpus of data yielded the startling discovery that Britain is one of the nine and not of the 19.
“Even the refugee crisis hardly affected the country,” continued Junk, somewhat less convincingly. In the last 10 years Britain’s population has grown by five million, almost exclusively due to immigration. I suspect what my friend Junk really meant was that, since the EU is one continuous refugee crisis, there’s no point singling out the current peak.
Having thus explained what didn’t cause Brexit, Junk then kindly told us what did: “Britain has never been able to decide whether it wants to fully or only partially belong to the EU.”
Junk is much better at splitting infinitives than hairs. Actually, the referendum has shown that Britain wants to belong to the EU neither fully nor even partially, but that’s what Junk doubtless meant. He doesn’t always express himself clearly, and never after his first breakfast Scotch – but then I’m always there to act as his trusted interpreter.
Then Papa chimed in, in his unique plaintive way: “For many people, politics in Brussels and Strasbourg might as well be happening on another planet.”
Hence the current situation, with Britain having abducted the continent, nay the whole planet, and now holding it for ransom. “First,” said Papa, “David Cameron initiated the referendum in order to secure his post. Now, fellow Conservatives want to delay the start of exit negotiations until they’ve held a party conference.”
The first sentence shows impeccable judgement: it’s true that Dave called the referendum because a) he was sure of victory and b) he thought that as a result he could bring the whole party under his heel by finally making those sceptics shut up.
The second sentence is factually true too. But there Papa wasn’t so much complaining as rejoicing. He knows that the longer the delay, the more time he and Junk will have to bring in the rescue team armed to the teeth.
Actually, the EU’s SAS are already making headway. Under their tutelage more than four million Britons have signed a petition to vote again and keep voting until the EU hostage has been released by its captors. Patience is a critical virtue in a hostage situation, and the feeling is it doesn’t matter how many polls this is going to take – as long as the EU stays alive, there’s no giving up.
As a result, Parliament (our own, not Papa’s) is about to debate the situation and decide whether the four million who demand another referendum outweigh the 17.4 million who decided to take the EU hostage by leaving it.
The four million have called on the Government to introduce a rule that, if the vote was less than 60 per cent to either side, there should be another referendum. By inference, they’re also demanding that, once introduced, the rule be made retroactive, which takes jurisprudence to an exciting new level.
This raises interesting questions. Are we going to re-run any elections failing to produce a landslide result? If so, I’m all for it: what can be more fun than reading a dozen opinion polls every day of one’s life? After all, landslide victories are rather rare, and we may well be regaled by a few general elections every year.
With this particular hostage crisis, what if a second referendum produces roughly the same result, a four-percent victory for Leave? Sorry I asked – the answer is obvious: the stern examiner will tell us to re-sit the test until we get it right.
But what if Remain were to win, by a similar margin? Would we go two out of three, or again keep voting until the widely grinning EU hostage is released safe and sound? Or perhaps decide that it’s only wrong votes that should be invalidated?
The opportunities are as exciting as they’re endless. But somehow I’m sure Junk and Papa will take full advantage of them. They’ve got their hostage-release tactics spot-on in Ireland, Denmark, France and Holland. If it worked there, why not in Britain?
And this once they’ll be able to deputise local support, starting no doubt with our new prime minister. Britain, that vile abductor, stands no chance: Junk and Papa will never countenance defeat.