“Thick as mince” revisited

I almost wish that I hadn’t said “The main problem with Brexit isn’t the competence of the people trying to carry it out“, now that our leading Brexiteers are routinely generating headlines like this:

Andrea Leadsom mocked after calling Jane Austen ‘one of our greatest living authors’ in House of Commons

…and this…

Britain’s Fox says UK-EU trade deal ‘easiest in human history’, sterling falls

But I still think my point, that Brexit itself is a terrible idea regardless of the calibre of the people trying to make it work, is valid. Of course, the fact that Brexit was originally dreamed up by morons like this probably explains why it’s such an unremittingly terrible idea…

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Global Trumpist tantrums

What is this, International Throw Your Toys Out of The Pram Week?

“It will be a lot easier and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you Republicans are not going to own it,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, in the UK:

Cabinet tensions over Brexit intensified today as Tory sources accused Boris Johnson and Michael Gove of trying to force Theresa May into storming out of Brexit talks.

An insider told the Standard the pair were using the row over Britain’s divorce payment to the EU to bring talks “crashing to a halt” to engineer a “hard Brexit” with no transitional deal.

“They want a situation where the EU just say ‘enough is enough’ and show us the door,” claimed the source. “They want the hardest of hard Brexits.” Mr Johnson last week caused a furore by saying the EU could “go whistle” for the money it is seeking.

And these are the sort of people who go around calling Remainers “saboteurs.”

Ties, Toblerone and jam tomorrow

If you got to the hashtag #brexitopportunities on Twitter, you’ll find plenty of people competing to make fun of the Brexiteers’ desperate attempts to talk up the fantastic opportunities which allegedly await us all in their brave new post-Brexit world.

Alternatively, you can cut out the middleman and just listen to the Brexit bunch’s own suggestions about the golden opportunities that lie ahead. They’re inadvertently more hilarious than most of the ridiculous suggestions being made by people who are deliberately trying to be funny:

Tory backbencher Peter Bone, who complained last week that a relaxation of the rule on wearing ties in the House of Commons could damage the “esteem of Parliament”, prodded Speaker John Bercow with a trade question about the neckwear. “Mr Speaker, you will be delighted to learn that the British tie manufacturers export millions of pounds,” he said.

“Could the Secretary of State suggest how this house could promote the wearing of ties to increase exports?”

[Disgraced MP Liam] Fox responded: “I suggest that we can lead by example and I can say that this was made in England,” gesturing to the label on his own tie…

…Ties are not the first niche product pro-Brexit MPs have promoted as the Government explores new opportunities for post-EU trade.

Boris Johnson highlighted a manufacturer in his constituency of Uxbridge which produces “the wooden display counters that are used to sell the duty-free Toblerones in every Saudi Arabian airport”.

“If we can crack markets like that, think what we can do when we have free trade deals with America, where they still have a ban on British haggis,” he said.

A Defra document released when the department was run by Andrea Leadsom last year highlighted tea, jam and biscuits, which could be targeted at Japan.

Another suggestion, last October, saw the Department of International Trade itself tweeting: “France needs high quality, innovative British jams & marmalades”.

Karl McDonald in iNews

Meanwhile, in other news:

Leaders from Japan and the European Union on Thursday announced their agreement on the broad strokes of a trade deal that will cover nearly 30 percent of the global economy, 10 percent of the world’s population, and 40 percent of global trade.

The EU and Japan must be kicking themselves for not coming up with a world-beating plan like simply walking away from their biggest markets, then rebalancing their economies to tap into the insatiable global demand for ties, jam and airport display cabinets for duty-free Toblerones.