We Brits are now less than one year from exiting the European Union. Sort of. And probably. Should I begin to accept the inevitable and embrace Brexit? Nah. Only when the inevitable is truly and unstoppably inevitable. I’m still holding out for a Breversal. But, just for a change, I thought I’d write a post to highlight the true benefits that Brexit will definitely bring us. Ready?
Duty Free Booze Cruises
Once upon a time, Brits would swarm on to ferries to cross over to the continent on day trips. For a change of scene? A taste of real culture? The sophisticated cuisine? To try out the French they’d learned on cassette courses? No, don’t be silly. They were all off to load up on tax free beer, ciggies, rolling tobacco and boxes of Blue Nun and sherry. Alas, the EU put an end to that. But once we’ve left the EU, one presumes that normal service will be resumed, with a new generation of chavs and chavettes enjoying the freedom to buy vast quantities of products which, in most cases, will be put to good use in shortening their lives by a few years. And costing the NHS more of its scarce resources.
Fun fact: At one stage in the 1990s, Drum tobacco was the most smoked rolling tobacco in the UK. Despite not actually being sold here.
I’m currently in the process of renewing my passport. It’ll be my third passport, and my renewal couldn’t have come at a better time – I’ll be able to get a British made red European Union passport rather than one of the ghastly new European made blue British passports. Got your head around that? I know…it’s hilarious. But this is by the by. The real benefit is that I’ll be able to collect stamps in my new passport at customs points when I travel in the EU. My first passport was almost filled with exotic stamps and paper visas. But due to my travelling mostly within the EU for the duration of my second passport, it’s half empty.
Fun prediction: My new EU passport will last 10 years. By the time it expires, I’ll be able to get a new EU passport when we rejoin and totally skip ever having a British passport. Maybe…
I Told You So
There’s no escaping this for Brexit fans. Every time something goes a bit wrong, us Remainers will be able to gloat, mock, point fingers and say ‘told you so’. It’s the one positive that comes from a negative result at the ballot box. Brexiters will soon be grumbling about the growing numbers of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent that are needed to replace the dwindling EU workers. The brown faces are even worse that the Polish ones? Well, we told you so. They’ll be grumbling that the NHS doesn’t appear to be benefitting from the promised £350 million a week cash injection. What, the fictional £350 million? Well, we told you so. They’ll be grumbling that their pensions don’t stretch so far. Everything’s just so much more expensive now, isn’t it? Well, we did tell you so.
Fun fact: Arch Eurosceptic Nigel Farage, who has spent the better part of his adult life campaigning againt EU largesse, and has campaigned for us to leave the EU without paying a penny towards our agreed committments (eg EU pensions) intends to collect not one, but two EU pensions.
You might think that another benefit, once we are finally, actually, really out of the European Union is that the argument over our membership will be over. Peace and quiet at last, right? I’ll bet that before the Brexiters have had time to finish their first cup of post-EU tea, the debate over Breturn will be raging. But is it likely?
Brexiters are of a certain age. We are highly likely to have to endure another decade, at least, of austerity. Whilst there is always the chance that unforeseen events (or predictable future possibilities that we prefer to ignore – take your pick) might put paid to Breturn, I’d say it is otherwise almost certain.
And doesn’t that lead us to the most ironic conclusion? The UK at present mostly has the deal it wants with the EU with key opt-outs. Out of Schengen and the Eurozone. And then there’s the UK Rebate, reducing the financial costs of full membership. The Brexiters have kept us out of those over the last couple of decades. Breturn will, in all likelihood, mean the end of those ‘special deals’. So whilst the Brexiters won the battle of 2016, ultimately, it may well be the Arch Europhiles who win the war.