Revealed: the top secret plans of how to prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit
Today, Theresa May will tell the European Union to give us a Brexit deal or else, and in the weeks to come she will be telling the country exactly what ‘or else’ means.
Every week, there will be a detailed bundle of advice published for citizens, consumers and companies about what they need to do to prepare for March 29, 2019, when Britain will cease to be a member of the EU and be flicked, like an unwanted beer mat, off Beachy Head into the arms of all those international trade deals we don’t have.
We can only hope a civil servant has had the sense to write ‘DON’T PANIC!’ on the cover.
Of course they won’t be necessary if the EU gives in and does what Jacob Rees-Mogg wants. And if they don’t, there’s a strong chance they’ll just extend the Article 50 deadline, which would be useful if the headbangers hadn’t insisted on legislation that named March 29 as B-Day.
So what will they say, these worst-case-scenario papers that have suddenly become, with eight months to go, the increasingly-likely-scenario plan?
Even the most cautious types could tell you it’ll mean a £5.50 driving permit at Dover, a shortage of cucumbers and longer queues at airports. But the full truth is, in a post-Brexpocalypse world, it’ll involve a lot of currently-unforeseen consequences of having made the EU an offer it can very easily refuse.
Dark and unpleasant things like this:
1. Cliff Richard will lose his human rights
Which will be annoying, as he’s just spent around £4million trying to improve them for people accused of terrible things. If we Brexit without copying the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, we’ll lose rules on data protection, human trafficking, disability rights, equal pay and workplace discrimination, as well as the rights of victims of crime.
We’ll still have the European Court of Human Rights, which is not part of the EU, but it’ll take a six-figure sum and several years to take any complaints to it, so unless you’re as rich as Cliff the chances are the ECHR will be as much use as a unicorn’s nosebag.
The government says all current laws we have as a result of the EU will remain in UK law – however, there’s nothing to stop any future Parliament repealing them in the name of, say, trade deals with tyrants.
2. All medicine will be 30-year-old cough syrup from the back of the medicine cabinet
Goodbye, radioactive isotopes used in MRI scanners. So long, EU-regulated cancer medication, clinical trials and any confidence you currently have that a packet of paracetamol from the garage definitely does not include Spice.
Hello again to whatever you can find in an exploration of the furthest reaches of your bathroom storage. Need opioids because mum broke her arm? Tixylix. Need an appendix removed? Vicks Vapour Rub, if you can get the lid off. And in the case of childbirth, you can forget a nurse, midwife or doctor and place your faith instead in the pain-killing, life-saving properties of a dusty packet of Strepsils.
You can say "Oh, lime cordial! Delicious!" all you please, but it has already been announced that from March next year and in the absence of a deal the UK authorities will "no longer be able to engage" with the EU medicine regulator.
May I suggest you start stockpiling Germolene. You are going to need it.
3. Kent will fill up with lorries and empty of people
Perhaps you don’t live in Kent and couldn’t care less. But 1,554,600 people do, and when the most rebellious county in Britain (a regicide, two peasant revolts, a saint who told a king to bog off and the woman who sparked schism in the church, and you’re welcome) realises it has become a lorry park for an entire national motorway network they will up sticks and cross the Medway in droves.
Still not bothered? Ask yourselves this. Would 1.5m brown people suddenly arriving on the mainland be able to find a home, job and schools, and does the fact the Kentish ones are a mix of brown, white, chavvy, privileged, light-fingered and small-minded really make much difference to the answer?
They’re not all Pop Larkin, you know. And Catherine Zeta Jones was Welsh.
4. The end of the rule of law
Sorry, but yes. It’s already begun. Law in this country is built upon convention and precedent, and in the past two years the convention that the Prime Minister is in charge of things has been tossed out of the window while precedent has been offered up like a sacrificial chicken on the altar of The People Voted For A Thing There Is No Precedent For.
We are now in a situation where thousands march because a Far Right idiot who admitted breaking the law, and imperilled the course of justice for everyone, is in in jail for it. We live in a land where seagulls are murdered for chips, children leave the house tooled up and we are perhaps 5 minutes away from someone claiming that the freedom to commit sexual assault is a human right.
When this all goes tits up next year the chances are your home will become your castle. Check the locks, barricade the windows, figure out your escape routes. If you’ve got a garden, dig a bunker, and if you’re near water build an ark.
Once financial passporting is no longer allowed, and the City collapses, the countryside will be filled with currency and commodity traders roaming wild in their pink trousers, gorging on the proletariat while Jacob Rees-Mogg shepherds them along in an armoured Bentley with a Remainer stuck in the grille.
And perhaps you think this is all so much Remoaner panic, except for two things.
Firstly, the government is about to drip-feed you a weekly diet of very similar, if worded differently, predictions.
And secondly there are reports that Vladimir Putin has given a Far Right paramilitary motorbike gang in Slovakia some of his tanks.
The Night Wolves paramilitaries and their friends say these are merely decommissioned vehicles hired for a new museum. But these guys are said to admire Stalin and fought on the pro-Russian side in Ukraine, where the US says they attacked the country’s navy HQ.
Ukraine, incidentally, is the same place where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a Russian missile in 2014, which Putin’s militia claimed credit for until they realised it was not a military transport but a holiday flight with 298 civilians on board.
So that’s pro-Russian paramilitaries with Russian military kit inside the EU borders, but it’s just for a museum honest even though they have a history of it actually being for killing.
As we head down the Brexit plughole there may yet be a last-minute rescue by way of an extension, a general election, or a people’s vote. But the portents are bad – Mogg is no longer funny and there are sharks everywhere.
There is however one bright, shining light on the horizon, and that is if civilised society collapses it will be acceptable and indeed vital for the nation’s recovery for a crew of plucky survivors to pull together, hunt down Boris Johnson, shave his head and dip him repeatedly in the nearest rancid pile of uncollected domestic refuse while telling him they will stop just as soon as he produces a Brexit dividend.
Which is something to look forward to. Pity the electricity will have been off for months by that point and no-one will be able to livetweet it, but beggars can’t be choosers.
As we are all about to find out.
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