GERALD WARNER, the renowned author and columnist, has sent us this original, lighthearted article:
Her Majesty’s Government is keenly sensible of the very strong demand by the public to be given access to neutral, unbiased and expert information on the consequences of so-called Brexit. To that end, and following the very successful distribution of our official leaflet at the start of the EU referendum campaign, the Prime Minister has directed that this simple Question and Answer format be provided so that voters can judge for themselves the disadvantages and advantages (if any) of leaving the European Union.
Q: What is the origin of the term ‘Brexit’?
A: Philologists are uncertain on this question, but the largest consensus suggests it derives from an old Sanskrit word meaning ‘disaster’, ‘catastrophe’, or ‘extinction event’.
Q: Has Brexit ever occurred before?
A: Yes. Palaeo-historians believe an earlier incidence of Brexit may have been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs, the Ice Age and the geological separation of the British Isles from the European continent.
Q: Would Brexit entail social consequences?
A: Yes indeed. Brexit would hugely increase the incidence of street litter and dog-fouling. Government sociologists also suggest it would lead to a massive rise in middle-class, white-collar crime such as croquet hooliganism.
Q: What about the economic consequences of Brexit?
A: These would be truly catastrophic. Secret Treasury reports indicate an immediate inflation rate of over 20,000 per cent. In concrete terms this would mean, for a motorist visiting a pub and restricting himself to one drink, a single wheelbarrow full of five-pound notes would require to be carried in the car boot. For this purpose we recommend a wheelbarrow of EU standard size, i.e. 175 cubic Junckers. If a convivial evening is intended, it would be necessary to hire a skip with a capacity of 24 cubic Merkels.
Q: Would there be other economic consequences?
A: Undoubtedly. People’s savings would be worthless, pensioners would starve and even bankers’ bonuses might require to be trimmed, at least marginally. This would lead to a brain drain of banking talent to overseas locations, though most people would be able to do the basic calculations of their vastly reduced income with the help of an abacus.
Q: What would be the impact on public services?
A: Significant. Although we are confident we could still maintain, nationwide, a network of five hospitals, it is doubtful that any schools would remain open, except of course for the private sector which would continue to furnish us with high quality members of the vital professions, such as cabinet ministers and civil servants whose remuneration would naturally be ring-fenced in the national interest.
Q: Would my taxes go up?
A: Yes, to approximately 98 per cent of your income. In cases of hardship, however, generous rebates of up to 3.5 per cent would be made available.
Q: What about the environmental effects?
A: Immediately following Brexit we anticipate an increase in British temperatures of 20C, rendering most of the island uninhabitable, except for the pot-holing community. The population would also suffer severely from the plague of locusts and rain of frogs that would follow Brexit.
Q: Is that all?
A: No. Without the umbrella protection of the EU we would become much more vulnerable to asteroid strikes, though these would have little or no effect on the adjoining continent. The severing of the tectonic plates would make it likely we would drift out into mid-Atlantic and most likely sink. Some experts believe the legend of Atlantis relates to an earlier episode of Brexit.
Q: Would Brexit affect my sex life?
A: There would be none of that sort of thing post-Brexit.
Q: I know this is a completely neutral, non-partisan Government analysis, but is there any course of action you would feel able to recommend, from an objective standpoint?
A: Her Majesty’s Government (or part of it), while recommending a Remain vote, is anxious that all information distributed to the public on Referendum issues should, as in the case of this Q and A exercise, be totally impartial. However, there are certain limited guidelines we feel at liberty to offer voters on this critical issue.
We suggest, therefore, that you share this information with your neighbours, particularly if they are elderly, easily alarmed pensioners, and tell all your colleagues at work about the suicidal consequences of a Leave vote. Remember, being well informed is your most important asset. To avoid spreading unnecessary alarm and despondency, the facts outlined in this leaflet have been restricted to a best-case scenario in the event of Brexit.
For a more detailed and candid assessment of post-Brexit prospects we suggest you contact our independent advisers:
Cameron & Osborne plc, 10/11 Downing Street. London SW1A.
[Ed: regretfully, a technical glitch on the site has prevented us from accrediting Gerald Warner as author on the title page. We will correct this as soon as we’re able to!]