The Sunday Post (Inverness)

Customers at Europhile cafe say politician­s are making a terrible meal of it but still...breakfast means breakfast


PM is trying to make a mess of things so we end up staying in. She is not stupid... either that or she’s incredibly stupid

Leave or Remain? Theresa’s Deal or No

Deal? Red or brown sauce?

During these turbulent times there’s not a lot on which we can agree, not least how our exit from the European Union will be served up – or even if it will be served at all.

But if we are sick hearing about Britain’s slow separation from the continent, we can at least take our mind off political matters with a cuppa and a roll and square sausage at a local café.

Or can you?

We visited The Trans-europe Café in Glasgow last week ahead of the parliament­ary Brexit vote to find out the answer to the big question: does breakfast mean breakfast? Nestled on the border between the cosmopolit­an Merchant City and the slightly less cosmopolit­an Trongate, fans flock to this favourite café to enjoy a menu ranging from fry ups and Irn-bru to eggs florentine and chai lattes. But no matter what they fancy, people here are mainly expecting one thing when it comes to Brexit — a dog’s dinner.

“It’s a disaster for me,” says Tony Sinclair, the proprietor of Trans-europe Café, over his Italian coffee. “We serve a lot of pesto, olives and olive oil from the continent. Over the past couple of years the prices have been going up and up. But we can’t pass that on to consumers because at the same time wages are frozen. It’s a place with a lot of conversati­on, and people of all political persuasion­s are welcome in here. “But I can’t say I hear many people talking about Brexit in positive terms.”

Tony, as you might have guessed from the café he owns, is possibly the most pro-remain man in Scotland.

His business was named after a Kraftwerk album, but now he wants his café to become a beacon for positivity when it comes to Europe.

One wall is a giant, tiled map of the continent, and he intends to change the theme of the café each month from now on to pay tribute to a European country. This month it’s Scotland, the next it’s France.

It’s fair to say Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-mogg probably won’t be using Tony’s café as a Scottish base to launch their leadership campaigns.

Although there is a hint of intrigue in the air. Customer Harry Lymburn doesn’t only think we’re heading for a disaster when it comes to Brexit, but thinks that’s the point of the ongoing uncertaint­y. “Theresa May was a Remainer,” he says. “I think what she’s doing is trying to make a mess of things so we end up staying in the EU.

“The Prime Minister is not stupid. Either that or she’s incredibly stupid.”

His friend, Lorna Crawford, can only roll her eyes. How things have changed – the conspiraci­es in Glasgow are usually to do with referee’s loyalty rather than internatio­nal politics.

But that’s Brexit for you. Up is down, black is white, and Blairs are Bobs. Wait, what?

“I’m a BOB,” explains Blair Smith, from Lenzie, confusingl­y. “I’m Bored of Brexit. The man on the street – and in the cafe – just wants the whole thing over and done with.

“If we want to leave then it’s time for someone to step up and deliver it. And if they can’t then I can see a general election happening.”

After living in Australia for several years, Chris Baillie missed the Brexit vote and has returned to the UK to find it a very different place.

“I can see the rationale behind the decision,” she says. “But surely we should be looking for more unity rather than less? “As for what will happen, I’ve no idea. And no one else seems to have one either.”

That’s rapidly becoming clear. “Hard or soft,” the waitress asks a hungover-looking customer, inquiring how they might like their eggs rather than their choice of Brexit. “Scrambled,” is the reply. Of course it is.

 ??  ?? Harry Lymburn and Lorna Crawford
Harry Lymburn and Lorna Crawford

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