Brexit and the Normando Pizza

Posted by in March's Magazine

If we are to believe the rumours, the rhetoric, and most importantly, the hype, apparently a Brexit trade deal will be finalised by the end of October, if not sooner. By most accounts, the EU is about to offer the UK a “supercharged” free trade deal. However, if you read between the lines (and the red lines are the most important ones), the deal will only accede to around 30 or 40 per cent of Theresa May’s Chequers proposal and will not include the frictionless trade that Mrs May requires. Now, if we are also to believe that this deal is going to be accepted by the UK Government, it would require a compromise of massive proportions on the UK side. Not least on the Irish border question. This is problematic.


If the UK Government compromise too much, any supposed deal will not make it through the House of Commons. Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Labour party, the SNP and the DUP will all vote it down for various reasons. Johnson because he sees himself as the crusading little Englander who can lead the country backwards into the sunlit uplands of the 19th century and become Prime Minister by pandering to disaffected right-wing knuckle draggers from UKIP and beyond; Rees-Mogg because he believes that the world is ready to welcome with open arms a country that will inevitably become an island tax-haven for the filthy rich; the Labour party because it views any kind of post-Brexit chaos as a catalyst for a general election which it thinks it can win; and the SNP because the deal will not include access to the single market and will be catastrophic for Scotland’s economy. The SNP has also just received a pro-independence boost in some recent polls and will view a bad deal Brexit as a stepping stone to another independence referendum. The DUP because they’re adamant that the preservation of the union is God’s will. They’re also insane. If the Commons votes the deal down, where does that leave us?

Well, Theresa May would probably be toast. A number of Conservative MPs have already stated that they would trigger a vote of no confidence which would lead to a leadership contest for the Tories. It’s likely that May would see a rejection of the deal as a rejection of her as leader. A run-off between Johnson and a pro-Brexit candidate could rip the Tories apart which would suit Labour down to the ground as it would manifest the chaos they’re after. The SNP would argue that independence was the only way out of the post-Brexit mire and demand Indy-Ref 2. The DUP would probably start building barricades. Constitutional chaos ensues and the UK economy starts heading down the pan. Fine, I hear you ask, but what’s this all got to do with a pizza?

Well chums, the reason that we’re in such a mess is that the UK Government has been absolutely useless at negotiating with the EU since this whole debacle began. Rather than focussing on the benefits which both sides could gain from Brexit, the UK Government has portrayed its EU counterparts as nasty, brutish and unwilling to compromise on anything. In turn, the EU has viewed the UK as ruthless, ignorant and stroppy. Not a good basis on which to negotiate. Compare this with the negotiating skills and friendly approach to cooperation which resulted in the Normando pizza being created.

Our local chippy, Pierino’s was recently presented with the well-deserved award for best chippy in south east Scotland. Not only renowned for traditional fish and chips, Pierino’s turns out pizzas, wraps and kebabs which sell like hot cakes (or hot food). One of their most loyal customers is my mate Norman (I’ll save his blushes by only using his first name). On one of his usual visits, Norman noticed that it was cheaper to buy a vegetarian pizza and add a couple of extras (including meat) than buying the meaty version and adding veggies. Now most establishments would have kyboshed this deal without blinking. But not Pierino’s. Realising that Norman would return at regular intervals, it made more sense to allow the Normando pizza to survive than to scupper the entire deal for a few pennies. The Normando pizza doesn’t yet feature on the official menu in Pierino’s but I believe that negotiations are ongoing on this front and if previous negotiations are anything to go by, a resolution will be found. A fine example of having your pizza and eating it. 

Once the Brexit chaos ensues, the Normando pizza will stand as testament to what can be achieved through common sense and ravenous post-bevvy hunger.


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