IT’S easy to say “I told you so.” Some of our readers have not been shy to do so in our letters pages this week. But it was hard not to feel huge sympathy for those who were stuck for hours in queues while trying to get from Dover to Calais – especially those with young children in the back who were surely rendered hoarse from calls of “are we nearly there yet?” while their parents counted to 10 then asked Alexa to once again play Kidz Bop 2022.

Statistically, about half of those parents didn’t even vote for Brexit (and their children certainly didn’t), but those who did were lied to about the risk of this exact situation being one of many likely negative outcomes. And they are still being lied to now.

Blame France, says Liz Truss. “France is not responsible for Brexit,” says France. “Stop blaming Brexit,” Rishi Sunak tells France. And so it goes on. It’s clear how this is going to play out. If it’s conceivably within the power of another European country or countries to mitigate against a harm caused by Brexit, then that country will be blamed by the Tories who pushed for a Leave vote (or in the case of Truss, argued against it and then cynically became a born-again Brexiteer).

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Passport control taking twice as long? Blame the French for failing to provide twice as many staff! That shouldn’t be a difficult pivot, since every British person knows the French are workshy and the most gullible will be only too willing to believe there’s a broad anti-UK conspiracy because the EU countries are sore about losing their most treasured member.

If a disabled driver has their car towed away in Spain, Italy or any of the other nine countries that have not yet agreed to recognise UK blue badges, then it will be the Spaniards, Italians or whoever else who are being beastly to vulnerable visitors. It seems the UK Government has been too busy punishing disabled people on UK soil to even follow up with the countries involved, as it fell to the AA to confirm the lack of progress on reaching agreements.

Perhaps Prime Minister Truss will find a way to blame the AA for any negative consequences – they have, after all, reminded all those countries to be on the look-out for any British disabled people trying to enjoy a holiday without incurring any needless additional pain.

It’s the perfect vicious cycle: use xenophobia to stir up anti-EU sentiment, then keep fuelling it any time EU countries decline to go along with what the UK demands. Condemn any additional red tape imposed on visitors to those countries and hope nobody notices you are navigating tripwires of the stuff back home.

Listening to various Brexit defenders grasping around for alternative facts, I was reminded of a character in Andrew O’Hagan’s novel Mayflies who offers up incontrovertible evidence to support bold claims (example: “the novelist Evelyn Waugh is personally responsible for 9/11”). By incontrovertible I mean extremely tenuous and convoluted – the Brexiteers could definitely learn from him. For example, what if I told you that the Smith family of Berkshire missed their Mediterranean cruise last week not because of Brexit making passport checks more thorough, but because of 10-year-old YouTuber Ryan Kaji?

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When he was four, Ryan’s parents began filming him for “unboxing” videos aimed at other youngsters. One video with 22 million views sees him delight in opening up a Kinder Surprise egg. It’s quite possible that a French child watched this video then pestered their parents for such treats. There’s then every chance that his mum – who works as a border guard at Dover – ransacked the supply when no-one was looking, having missed warnings in the media about a bad batch containing salmonella. Food poisoning resulted, she missed her shift in the passport-checking kiosk, and holidays were ruined. See? Brexit wasn’t to blame at all.

The big question now is who or what will be made the scapegoat if the European Court of Justice starts fining the UK for failing to implement the 2019 Brexit deal. The EU was unimpressed, to put it mildly, when the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill – which would allow Boris Johnson’s Brexit agreement to be ripped up – was passed by the House of Commons last week.

Liz Truss has bizarrely claimed the current impasse is evidence that she can “get stuff done”, while giving her full support to the undoing of what was previously done. She is surely more surprised than anyone that these disagreements are still rumbling on – that is, if we are to believe the diplomat who claims she once said Brexit would only affect “a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks.”

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Maybe those farmers will be targeted for blame – along with any foreign judges who can be declared enemies of the British people and pelted with rotten neeps.

The worst part of it all is that more than half of the UK electorate will desperately want to buy into whatever far-fetched blame game plays out. Because the alternative is accepting that they were fools for thinking it was all “done” ...

or that Brexit would be a success.