BEING a glass-half-full sort of chiel I’ve always found it useful to focus and stay positive following events that at first seem gloomy. This is a particularly useful strategy to adopt when faced with the dire predictions about Brexit. If you were to believe the presentiments of evil that are about to befall us when the guillotine finally falls to sever our relationship with the EU you might think that we are destined to spend the next century or so living in some kind of medieval twilight zone.

This is something of an exaggeration when all the economic indicators point merely to a prolonged spell in the 19th century, this being Jacob Rees-Mogg’s favoured period of UK history.

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And so, inspired by Wings Over Scotland’s Wee Blue Book setting forth arguments to vote Yes in the independence referendum, I’ve begun to compile my own little Red, White And Blue Guide to make the best of Brexit whether it be hard, soft, poached or scrambled.


Even rabid right-wing scandal sheets like the The Sunday Telegraph and its stablemate The Sunday Sport now accept that Brexit could end up damaging the economy. The fabled and almost suppressed Brexit impact reports starkly predict that every region of the UK will be adversely affected by Brexit. So I would propose a National Lottery Tax. It’s really quite simple to work and merely requires the will of Government.

Theresa May must declare a state of Brexit economic emergency under which she can introduce “special measures”. I would order every family in Britain to buy National Lottery tickets, according to their household income. This could start at two tickets per week for those on the most meagre incomes rising to a maximum of 50 for affluent families with an annual income of more than £150k a year. Those holding the winning tickets each week would be required to hand over the poppy to HM Treasury for which they would be issued with special gold status tokens for the local food bank.

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At the end of the year I’d get Dale Winton plus Ant and Dec to host a festive edition of Supermarket Sweep. Each of the UK’s regions would be invited to send a representative to “go wild in the aisles”, with the winner taking home the biggest cut of the prize money.


With all the uncertainty surrounding our future relationship with the European single market, it’s hardly surprising that industries specialising in popular export goods are getting nervous. Even the non-EU countries whom David Davis assured us would be falling over themselves to cut deals with us following Brexit are now acting all fly and double wide and flashing their ankles at us.

So, under the aforementioned Brexit State of Emergency I’d order all the royals to vacate the palaces and castles that, let’s face it, we basically pay for anyway. The state would then commandeer these palatial homes and use them to stage a travelling International It’s A Knockout series of extravaganzas.

Then I’d invite members of the UK’s farming community to compete in regional heats deploying their livestock in vivid and imaginative ways. An invited audience of overseas trade ministers would then be flown over at our expense and put up at the fancy houses. The farmers would compete for assorted Best in Show prizes which would include export deals with some of the countries represented. For example, we could have a Combine Harvester race compered by Jeremy Clarkson or sheepdog trials where, instead of Border Collies being used to round up the sheep it would be farmers dressed up in oversized puppet costumes. We could also stage It’s A Knockout On Water heats around the coast involving the UK’s trawler fleet. I feel sure this would stir up interest in some of our at-risk produce by use of the traditional British humour that is so beloved by friend and foe alike.


Look, there’s no point in getting all deferential about these people when there’s a State of Emergency on. For centuries we have paid through the nose to keep this indolent shower of opportunists and fancy dress merchants in the style of Byzantine potentates. Surely this is the time to order them to step up to the mark and actually give something back. I’d conscript the lot of them into a form of Royal National Service and compel each of them to spend the next two years travelling constantly overseas with suitcases and helicopters stuffed with British goods for them to sell.

I’d also draw up several rudimentary family trees customised to pique the interest of the countries they are visiting. With a wee bit of tweaking and twisting here and there we could trace tributaries of the royal bloodlines to some of these countries and make them feel that they are all distantly related to the Queen. I’d also make an inventory of all the UK royals’ hidden art treasures which include some of the most valuable paintings and artefacts in the world. Then I’d distribute the list to interested overseas buyers and basically ask them to take their pick by way of a bribe inducing them to do business with us.


If you’re Irish come into the parlour, There’s a welcome there for you;

If your name is Timothy or Pat, So long as you come from Ireland,

There’s a welcome on the mat, If You come from the Mountains of Mourne,

Or Killarney’s lakes so blue, We’ll sing you a song and we’ll make a fuss,

Whoever you are you are one of us, If you’re Irish, this is the place for you!

I’d issue all businesses north and south of the border with a copy of these lyrics and compel them to distribute them to all executives, sales staff and drivers. On reaching any post-Brexit border patrols they would belt out the lyrics in their broadest Irish brogues to ensure safe and tariff-free passage to the other side. Boris Johnson has previously said he would think of something to solve the Irish hard-border issue during a Commons drinks recess as he didn’t think it was really that complicated. I’m sure this would fall into that category. In order to placate the DUP we could change “Timothy” to “William” in the lyrics.


This one really is the masterstroke which would solve all impending vicissitudes at a stroke. Basically, instead of having a second referendum on Scottish independence early next year, England could stage a referendum to dissolve the Westminster Parliament and accept Holyrood’s writ over the entire UK. This would: (1) make Scotland independent of the UK and (2) make a devolved England part of Scotland. Then the plan would be for the newly recalibrated polity to seek membership of EFTA, the European Free Trade Association. Thus a sort of UK would creep back into a European trading block by the back door without undermining the integrity of the 2016 EU referendum result. From there it would only be a hop, skip and a jump back into the EU once the Ukip brigade had forgotten what it was all about in the first place.

Voila … as they say in yon Italy.