Suzanne Harrington: Britain is beginning to melt under the weight of its own ridiculousness

Suzanne Harrington: Britain is beginning to melt under the weight of its own ridiculousness

When Theresa May, several lifetimes ago, was asked about the intricacies and future workings of Brexit, she kept repeating, “leave means leave.” Right now, leave means not leaving, if you’re in Britain and would like to be somewhere else. Like France on your holidays.

Britain and France are just 20 miles apart, geographically almost kissing; you can whoosh under the tunnel at Dover and emerge 35 minutes later in Calais.

It’s one of the quickest and simplest journeys in the world. On the other end, an entire country full of delicious wines and cheeses.

Not anymore. Now, there are reports of six, 10, 20-hour delays on the British side. Queues of cars and lorries lined up at Dover, tailbacking miles into Kent. The French blame Brexit, and the Tories blame the French.

A retired Tory MP, Sir Michael Take CBE, tweeted that, “The French have had over 6 YEARS to build extra facilities and to train extra staff to deal with Brexit. Their unwillingness to do so stinks. Today, to support our brave British tourists I urge you to boycott French goods in the shops. No Merlot, no Brie. Let’s teach the French a lesson.”

This was followed by a Union Jack emoji. The Daily Express, a pro-Brexit tabloid, grabbed this tweet and plastered it all over its pages.

Thank goodness for The Daily Express.
A proper democratic newspaper that stands up for decent British people.
They seem to be very impressed by my ‘Boycott The French Campaign.’

— Sir Michael Take CBE (@MichaelTakeMP) July 24, 2022

Except Michael Take is a parody account — the clue is in the name. The same account endorsed Nadine Dorries, incoherent Tory minister for culture wars, as a replacement for the current disgraced prime minister with the hashtag #GoNads.

Still, the Daily Express ran his idea of bravely boycotting Merlot and Brie.

This is now real-life Britain, a place so far beyond parody that it has started to actually melt under the weight of its own ridiculousness, like Brie in a hot car at Dover.

Cars queue to enter the Port of Dover in Kent as families embark on summer getaways following the start of holidays for many schools in England and Wales. Picture date: Thursday, July 28, 2022.

“You’re all right with your Irish passport,” a friend says enviously. Her new one has a blue cover, one of the great promises of Brexit alongside no more foreigners to do the plumbing, building, farming, fruit picking, lorry driving, house cleaning, taxi driving, and baggage handling.

Especially the baggage handling, as anyone who has tried to leave the country via air rather than sea

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