How to un-Brexit Brexit


Brexit negotiations.

With those two little words I’ve just convinced eighty percent of people who stumbled across this blog post to quickly stumble past it, and in the direction of the nearest bottle of alcohol.

The only person now still reading will almost certainly be David Davis – the Brexit secretary, and the man in whose hands our fate rests – who, I’m told, will read anything that includes the words “Brexit negotiations”, in the vain hope of picking up tips.

There is one key reason why David Davis is the wrong man for the Brexit job; he isn’t currently raising a couple of kids of primary school age, and therefore doesn’t have enough relevant experience.

I’m not sure if parenting has always been this way, or whether it’s because I’m often surrounded by middle-class people who tend to filter their parenting for the benefit of their audience.

But the fact is, there’s a lot of negotiating involved.

More than I thought there’d be.

Though, to be fair, when I signed up for the parenting game (and when I say ‘signed up’, I mean when I agreed it was what I wanted having given it almost no thought whatsoever), I had no idea what was involved.

In fact, I thought there was so little involved that there was really no reason to consider what was involved. Just feed and clothe them, tuck them in at night, and that’s about that.

There are other things, is what I’ve found.

Here’s what happens:

They’re helpless, so you feed them and change them and keep them warm, and the complication comes in intense, but manageable bursts.

Then they learn to get about – by crawling, then walking – which introduces an element of physical, actual, danger into the equation. Again, increased workload, but nothing a simple risk-analysis can’t handle.

Then, and here’s the tipping point, they learn to talk. Which leads to a personality. And a whole series of demands. Which require negotiation.

During the past three or four years I have developed such skills of diplomacy when parenting my two young boys that I was briefly touted as the successor to Ban Ki-moon as General Secretary of the United Nations.

My ability to diffuse tense situations during that difficult late afternoon/pre-evening part of the day, when blood sugar is low, and interesting activities have been exhausted did, at one time, have me earmarked to be the one to finally achieve peace in the Middle-East.

Unfortunately, the next several years in my house became snarled up with debates over TV rights, and the merits of The Adventures of Peter Rabbit versus Dick and Dom.

The Middle-East, I’m afraid to say, has had to wait.

Once the Tory party finally admit that the European negotiators have got them tied in knots I fully expect them to come running, in need of my services, to negotiate the hell out of the situation and make things right again.

A job I will, of course, be happy to take on.

With the skills I now possess I plan to start negotiations with time itself – starting in Greenwich, and working my way around – to bring us right back to 2016, pre-referendum.

We can then un-vote for Brexit, and get on with our lives.

After unravelling the great play-barn versus trampoline-park impasse of 2015, un-Brexit-ing Brexit should be a doddle.




  1. The parallels between Brexit and parenting are uncanny.. at the moment we appear to be at the ‘kids threaten to run away’ stage but Mummy and Daddy EU know that it’s pretty hollow and they are likely to be back looking dolefully apologetic once they realise they are hungry and haven’t got any money.


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