Worst Brex­i­teer of the year

The New European - - Agenda -

ex­er­cise”). Fish­ing com­mu­ni­ties were called fis­cherge­mein­den – lit­er­ally “the act of pray­ing for fish”. Any­one know the Ger­man for schaden­freude?

DANIEL HAN­NAN

A year of hu­mil­i­a­tion for the so-called ‘Brain of Brexit’. He claimed that part of the rea­son for land­locked Switzer­land’s fi­nan­cial suc­cess was that they are “out­side the Com­mon Fish­eries Pol­icy”. He wrote that the Win­drush af­fair “proved the sys­tem worked”. He railed against the “EU’S un­sci­en­tific ban on Ar­gen­tine beef ” (70% of Ar­gentina’s chilled beef ex­ports go to the EU) and he moaned about banana tar­iffs hurt­ing for­mer Bri­tish colonies (they don’t ap­ply to African, Caribbean or Pa­cific ba­nanas at all).

It ended with the Al­liance of Con­ser­va­tives and Re­formists in Europe group for­merly led by Han­nan be­ing or­dered to re­pay nearly £500,000 of EU funds af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into their spend­ing. Some £225,000 of that was money claimed by ACRE for a three-day con­fer­ence at a lux­ury Mi­ami beach re­sort which had “an al­most ex­clu­sively Amer­i­can au­di­ence” and an agenda that barely men­tioned the EU.

GERARD BAT­TEN

Fond of moan­ing that the EU has con­trib­uted noth­ing to Bri­tain, UKIP’S leader chose to stage his first party con­fer­ence at Birm­ing­ham’s In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence Cen­tre. The ICC opened in 1991, thanks partly to a £50 mil­lion do­na­tion from the EU.

Bat­ten’s other high­lights in­cluded miss­ing a pub­lic ap­pear­ance at Low­est­oft fish mar­ket’s morn­ing auc­tion be­cause he over­slept and break­ing off from his war on Is­lam to de­clare war on high street bak­ers Greggs af­ter read­ing they would “re­brand in a move to­wards a gen­derneu­tral busi­ness model fol­low­ing crit­i­cism that their name sounds too male”. He ranted on Twit­ter: “A cheese roll is a cheese roll. When is this mad­ness go­ing to stop?” Then some­one pointed out that the Greggs story came from a spoof news web­site...

CAT-OWN­ING ’KIPPER Speak­ing at the Feb­ru­ary UKIP EGM which saw Henry Bolton sacked over his girl­friend’s racist tweets, an el­derly del­e­gate from Thanet told the crowd: “We all make mis­takes, es­pe­cially with wives. My sec­ond wife was con­sid­er­ably younger than me and she was a lit­tle bit feisty. What hap­pened was I went with my sec­ond wife to a Con­ser­va­tive func­tion and she de­cided to wear a see-through cat­suit. The re­sult was I was os­tracised, she was os­tracised and it took me a bit of time to get back to my po­si­tion with the coun­cil. I sus­pect this is some­thing like the sit­u­a­tion we have at the mo­ment.”

The party’s out­go­ing chair­man later ex­plained that de­spite this speech and Bolton’s dis­missal, the day had gone well be­cause “at our 2000 AGM a party mem­ber died of car­diac ar­rest. To­day at this point ev­ery mem­ber is still with us. And on that ba­sis, I con­sider to­day to be a suc­cess”.

AN­DREW BRID­GEN

Seen on the day of the re­cent con­fi­dence vote walk­ing off the BBC’S West­min­ster podium rather than share screen time with his fel­low Tory MP James Clev­erly, Brid­gen’s ca­reer high­light came in Oc­to­ber when he re­vealed on Ra­dio Five Live that he be­lieved ev­ery­one in Eng­land is en­ti­tled to an Ir­ish pass­port and vice-versa.

Brid­gen told an audi­bly shocked Stephen Nolan: “As an English per­son I have the right to go to Ire­land and I be­lieve that I can ask for a pass­port, can’t I? I’m sure that cur­rently we have a re­cip­ro­cal agree­ment where I can go to Ire­land and ask for an Ir­ish pass­port and some­one from Ire­land can come to the UK and ask for a Bri­tish pass­port. That’s the sys­tem we have, isn’t it?”

A stag­ger­ing lack of re­search on

Europe done by this key mem­ber of the Euro­pean Re­search Group!

ROD LIDDLE

The Sun colum­nist called on Theresa May to re­sign de­spite her vic­tory in the con­fi­dence vote, claim­ing that the next prime min­is­ter of Great Bri­tain and North­ern Ire­land should be none other than busted flush/laugh­ing stock/de­tail­free zone/real-life Row­ley Birkin QC, David Davis.

Liddle wrote “Do­minic Raab would not be a bad choice (Brex Fac­tor note: He WOULD be a bad choice) but we need a clever lit­tle bas­tard who knows his stuff. So, you Tories – get be­hind David Davis. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.”

DAVID DAVIS

DD was out­raged at be­ing press­ganged into ap­prov­ing the Che­quers agree­ment on Fri­day, July 6 but only re­signed as Brexit sec­re­tary on Mon­day, July 9. Co­in­ci­den­tally, the de­lay gave mo­tor­rac­ing en­thu­si­ast Davis the op­por­tu­nity to spend Sun­day, July 8 as a VIP hos­pi­tal­ity guest at the Bri­tish Grand Prix, where he was spot­ted in the pits – a fa­mil­iar venue for Brex­i­teers – and no doubt en­joyed all the chi­canery. He later ex­plained the gap be­tween Che­quers and his res­ig­na­tion with the words: “This was the sort of thing you have to think care­fully about… this is not a sim­ple or easy de­ci­sion, it takes time”.

And where bet­ter to mull it over than in the calm and quiet of a For­mula One race, where noise lev­els close to the track can reach 140db – as loud as a jet plane?

NIGEL FARAGE

The nico­tine-stained man-frog had tough times away from his lily­pad in Septem­ber. On tour in Aus­tralia, he drew fewer than 500 peo­ple to the 2,500-ca­pac­ity Bris­bane Town Hall and his Syd­ney gig was can­celled with less than half the tick­ets sold, de­spite the Tix.com web­site of­fer­ing seats at 40% dis­count.

Later the same month, he head­lined the first big Leave Means Leave rally at Bolton Wan­der­ers’ Univer­sity of Bolton Sta­dium. Alas, or­gan­is­ers had failed to no­tice that the north-west town was also host­ing its an­nual Pride event on that day, mean­ing that Brex­ity at­ten­dees had to nav­i­gate their way past a mass LGBT+ pa­rade to get to the venue.

Once Farage had fin­ished spread­ing his own gospel of di­ver­sity and tol­er­ance, loved-up Leavers were then able to head back into the town’s Vic­to­ria Square for a Pride party fea­tur­ing live per­for­mances from KY Kelly and Dav­ina De Camp.

BORIS JOHN­SON

The year be­gan badly for Boris when, in Jan­uary, re­searchers in Switzer­land dis­cov­ered he was the great-great-great­great-great-great-grand­son of an 18th cen­tury woman whose syphilis-rid­den mummy has been found buried un­der a church in

Basel. “It’s hu­mil­i­at­ing to find out you’re re­lated to some­one with such a no­to­ri­ous past,” said the syphilitic mummy.

Twelve months of tur­moil fol­lowed, dur­ing which John­son pro­posed the build­ing of a ‘Brexit bridge’ be­tween Bri­tain and France. This idea was ridiculed when it was pointed out that (a) an al­ready gi­ant con­struc­tion job would have to stand at least 500m above the wa­ter­line to stop cargo ships hit­ting it, (b) the Chan­nel

Tun­nel al­ready ex­ists and (c)

Boris had al­ready squan­dered

£46 mil­lion on Lon­don’s Gar­den Bridge fi­asco.

Bojo then piv­oted to a

Brexit bridge be­tween main­land Bri­tain and North­ern

Ire­land, an idea which foundered when a re­tired off­shore en­gi­neer pointed out that it would have to be partly built upon a Min­istry of De­fence dump of more than 1.5 tons of un­ex­ploded mu­ni­tions. In ad­di­tion, be­cause of the great depth of much of the 22-mile route, the project would re­quire 54 sup­port tow­ers of heights never achieved any­where in the world.

JA­COB REES-MOGG

“Brexit is more im­por­tant than any­one but the Queen,” de­clared the chair­man of the 1822 Com­mit­tee, who be­gan the year by post­ing an In­sta­gram video of him teach­ing two-year-old son Alfred Wul­fric Leyson Pius Rees-mogg to say “Brexit” (well, it’s a lot eas­ier than learn­ing to say “Alfred Wul­fric Leyson Pius Rees-mogg”).

Crack­ers Ja­cob spent much of the 12 months rail­ing against the idea of a Peo­ple’s Vote de­spite start­ing the idea in the first place, hav­ing told the Com­mons in Oc­to­ber 2011: “In­deed, we could have two ref­er­en­dums. It might make more sense to have the sec­ond ref­er­en­dum af­ter the rene­go­ti­a­tion is com­pleted.”

But these kind of con­tra­dic­tions are noth­ing new to Hog­warts ghost JRM, who op­posed the lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of Ir­ish abor­tion laws de­spite ad­mit­ting that his in­vest­ment firm put £5 mil­lion into pills used in abor­tions, and de­manded a freeze on Rus­sian as­sets in the UK af­ter the Sal­is­bury nerve agent at­tack de­spite his own in­vest­ment firm hav­ing £217 mil­lion staked with Rus­sian com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing sev­eral banned from trad­ing in the US. Som­er­set Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment also launched an in­vest­ment fund in Dublin and warned prospec­tive clients that the event of a hard

Brexit, “there is likely to be con­sid­er­able uncer­tainty as to the po­si­tion of the UK and the ar­range­ments which will ap­ply to its re­la­tion­ships with the EU”.

The Dick­en­sian un­der­taker ended the year by ex­plain­ing that while a 52%-48% win had been a clear man­date for Leave at the ref­er­en­dum, a 64%-36% vic­tory for Theresa May in the con­fi­dence vote was a to­tal dis­as­ter which meant she must re­sign im­me­di­ately. He then changed his mind, some­thing the won;t al­low the Bri­tish peo­ple to do.

So let us in­dulge in the floc­cin­aucini­hilip­il­i­fi­ca­tion* of Ja­cob Rees-mogg, our Worst

Brex­i­teer Of 2018!

* The ac­tion or habit of es­ti­mat­ing some­thing as worth­less.

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