Slow road to Brexit

Devon Life - - Society -

Bat­ten down the hatches I am braced for Brexit. Hard/soft I have no idea what that means, and I am pretty sure no-one else does ei­ther, so I am pre­par­ing for the worst.

In true Bri­tish tra­di­tion, I am pulling up the draw­bridge, putting on the hard hat and stock­pil­ing the con­tents of my lo­cal su­per­mar­ket - not the Ger­man ones, ob­vi­ously.

I have my flash­light and Swiss army knife (note the nonEuro­pean ori­gin of my handy de­vice of choice) along with moun­tains of English ched­dar, Scot­tish beef and Welsh lamb.

Out with the Dublin Cod­dle, the Dan­ish ba­con, the Ital­ian pasta, the Bel­gian waf­fles, Greek mous­saka and the Span­ish paella and I might have to for­sake my favourite French wines in favour of the South Amer­i­can wines and damn to the pol­lut­ing air miles.

Per­haps it is liv­ing in Brix­ham that does it, be­cause here we have been be­moan­ing a slow de­par­ture from the Union with quay­side ban­ners and slo­gan­laden har­bour posters for months

And that is to say noth­ing of the scal­lop wars those damned Frenchies dragged us into a few months ago…

Noth­ing makes me grumpier than be­ing told that I voted for some­thing in a ref­er­en­dum and I must live with the con­se­quences – sud­denly the will of the peo­ple, a phrase hith­erto not heard on this is­land, is now de­rigeur in the cor­ri­dors of power. It won’t last. I am Bri­tish or as the Euro­peans now call us (as I over­heard on a re­cent visit to France) – “the ones with the bus” - and proud of it, I am also a York­shire­man (did I men­tion that be­fore) and I was also happy to be called a Eu­ro­pean. Not a pop­u­lar stance round these parts.

I am not writ­ing about this to make a po­lit­i­cal point, and one thing I will not be putting into my emer­gency Brexit pack along­side the tinned Fray Ben­tos pies is a ra­dio or a TV.

I live in an area that voted by an al­most two-thirds ma­jor­ity to leave, so it is not a sub­ject I tend to bring up in the pub. Or with my neigh­bours.

Go­ing back to my roots in York­shire doesn’t help – all my fam­ily voted out and I re­main con­vinced that many of their friends and neigh­bours thought they were vot­ing to get rid of Mus­lims. Should I tell them that Mus­lims make up less than one per cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Poland?

We are told by Sky News that the po­lice are ( just in case) train­ing to deal with civil un­rest and the Ex­press tells us that the Army is ready to move food sup­plies around, and Time tells us that French phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Sanofi is stock­pil­ing drugs in Bri­tain in readi­ness for Brexit

I also learn from the Bank of Eng­land, no less, that my credit card and debit card won’t work in Europe post-brexit , but that is OK be­cause I won’t be wel­come there any­more.

Same goes for my mo­bile phone that ei­ther will not work or the costs will re­turn to the ob­scene lev­els of yes­ter­year. Which all as­sumes that our navy blue pass­ports will get us past se­cu­rity in the first place.

Not­with­stand­ing any of the above here is my guide to sur­viv­ing Brexit ** (and don’t worry, you still have around five months to pre­pare):

• Re­fur­bish that Sec­ond World War bunker in the gar­den.

• Stock enough food for 14 days. Choose foods which can be eaten cold, which keep fresh, and which are tinned or well­wrapped. • Grow your own veg. • En­sure you have enough fuel to run your emer­gency gen­er­a­tor.

• As­sem­ble your own sur­vival kit – bed­ding, can­dles, torches, dis­in­fec­tant etc. • Lock all doors and win­dows. • Make the most of the time you have avail­able (from now).

• Drink bot­tled wa­ter (not Evian).

• Book your 2019 hol­i­days in the UK (Devon is your best bet if you want to clog up our roads even more).

• Do not leave your home un­til you hear the all clear.

Et voila! Af­ter 29 March, 2019 use of var­i­ous words and phrases that we have nicked from the French will be frowned upon so for­get carte blanche, avant garde, déjà vu, savoir fair and je ne sais quoi, to name but a few.

And as a dog owner, I am ob­vi­ously very con­cerned not so much about the avail­abil­ity of French bull­dogs, but Ir­ish set­ters; that is quite a dif­fer­ent prob­lem!

Still, look on the bright side, there is all that money for the NHS…

** Re­mark­ably sim­i­lar to Gov­ern­ment ad­vice is­sued in the 1960s on how to sur­vive a nu­clear war. Con­tact David at David@ Doy­ or fol­low him on Twit­ter: @grumpy­grockle

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