WOULD you be happy to stay in Europe as an individual? Not stay as in have a few days in France or German, but stay as in remain a citizen of Europe.
The other day it was being reported that the European Parliament was to consider a plan that would allow British citizens to opt in and keep their European Union citizenship, and its benefits, once the UK leaves the EU.
This proposal has been put before am EU parliamentary committee as an amendment. It would allow citizens from former member states to volunteer to retain their “associate citizenship” of the EU.
I couldn’t fathom if this was a serious suggestion or simply a bit of mischief. It’s an appealing notion that individuals could side-step Brexit and declare themselves European citizens, especially if that’s how they felt anyway.
In the Independent, Jayne Adye, director of the Get Britain Out campaign, said it would be divisive and “totally unacceptable” for Britons to retain the advantages of EU membership.
“This is an outrage,” she said, adding that the EU was attempting to divide “the great British public”. And there was me thinking the great British public was already thoroughly divided on this matter.
There was no mention of what Nigel Farage thought of the idea, but he is bound to be up in arms about it. Well, that man is always upping his arms about something or other. I don’t bother usually to despise people as it takes too much negative energy, but feel happy to make an exception for Farage.
After years of being an annoying twerp over Europe, Farage is now turning his attention to becoming best buds with Donald Trump. He was photographed standing next to the president elect grinning like a shark that’s become forgetful about visiting the shark dentist. You’d think that a man who forced his frankly disturbing grin on us so often might do something about his teeth.
Trump rolled out the red carpet for Farage, which was a shame really, as rolling him up in a red carpet might have been the more socially responsible thing to do.
Farage has turned his well-honed skills as an irritant into proposing a threesome with himself, Trump and Theresa May. Unsurprisingly, the vicar’s daughter is having none of it, and has spurned all advances from a Nigel-wards direction.
She is said to be planning her own Trump charm offensive, and rebuffed Farage. She’d already spoken to Trump on the phone, her official spokeswoman pointed out: “The president-elect talked about enjoying the same close relationship that Reagan and Thatcher did. I don’t remember there being a third person in that relationship.”
It was those words that suggested the three-in-a-bed image, although not in a romp sense so much as in the old Morecambe and Wise scenario, with Donald and Theresa drinking cocoa in their pyjamas while Farage jumped about at the other end of the bed, causing spillage and chaos.
This morning’s headlines are saying that a memo leaked to the Times and seen by the BBC reveals that the Government has “no plan for Brexit”. I am not convinced you need a leaked memo to tell you that.
The discovered note reveals that different government departments are working on more than 500 projects related to leaving the EU, and may need to hire an extra 30,000 civil servants to handle the additional work. Instead of millions coming back to us to spend on the NHS, we will spend millions more hiring civil servants tasked with pulling us out of the bureaucratic quagmire.
Under such circumstances, I would happily opt in to Europe on a personal basis. If that ever happens, which sadly it probably won’t, you can count me in as a proud Brit who also wants to be a proud European. I know it’s idealistic and all that, but better that than the corrosive anti-idealism of Nigel Farage and his ilk.