So, some handwritten notes carried by Julia Dockerill, a Tory MP’s chief of staff, have allegedly revealed the British Government’s approach to the Brexit negotiations. Let’s look at the detail of what they said.
“Have cake and eat it.” Surely this simply reveals the aspiration to obtain the best deal. In any negotiation, wouldn’t it be deemed a success if you were to walk away with such a good deal that you describe it as “having your cake and eating it”?
What else did it say?
“No Norway.” This indicates the Government has had enough of Scandinavian crime drama on the telly. Following the Danish series, Borgen, and the Swedish Wallender, the Government doesn’t want to see the Jo Nesbo novels turned into a blockbuster series, preferring to support home-grown British talent.
“Looking at a Canadian deal.” Or Canadian talent.
“French likely to be most difficult.” In an effort to encourage more children to learn Mandarin Chinese at school, there are plans to raise the pass marks for GCSEs in other, more popular, European languages. As more children learn French at school than other languages, this is the subject that requires the biggest popularity swing against it, so the required mark for a ‘C’-grade pass will be raised to 100%, making it the most difficult GCSE to pass.
“Give a small present.” All negotiations involve elements of ‘give and take’, so it is not surprising that something will have to be given up to the EU team to gain desirable results for the UK.
“Beer and wine critical.” As the EU has developed, UK citizens have become used to free-flowing trade in alcoholic beverages. The Government is keen to keep voters mildly inebriated when they are making major decisions in elections, as research has shown the majority of UK adults to be “happy drunks”, tending to be more optimistic when under the influence of alcohol.
“Get out quick.” The Government wants to trigger Article 50 as soon as possible to catch the EU negotiators unprepared.
No, wait a minute. We’ve turned over two pages at once.
- Have cake and eat it.
- Give a small present.
- Beer and wine critical.
- Get out quick.
These aren’t the Government’s Brexit plans. This is Ms Dockerill’s plan to survive the birthday party of an acquaintance she doesn’t really like.