‘Taxi for Britain.’
Every Friday before I head home, I usually pop into my local branch of ‘Paddy Power’ and hand in my weekend easy slip which is my €5 bet for the weekend’s football. It’s part of the Irish weekend sporting ritual, not the watching of sport I hasten to add, but the ritual whereby large proportions of the population hand over large amounts of their hard-earned cash in the forlorn hope that we’ll win enough dough to at least get the Skoda serviced.
The fact that I am writing this piece from my home and not from my St Tropez bolt-hole is testament to the fact that when it comes to picking winners I wouldn’t be in the same league as a former Taoiseach who could pick one quicker than JP McManus but unfortunately had the memory of a goldfish when it came to recalling the name of the nag that won all those thousands.
Anyway the point is that I think I might at last be onto a sure bet. I reckon my fellow Brits are going to pull the plug on the whole sorry bath full of dirty soap water that is the EU. I was thinking that I am of course allowed to vote in the forthcoming referendum but then it struck that I’m not actually resident in the UK anymore. So naturally my thoughts turned to the effects of a Brixit on the economy and when I say economy what I really mean is ‘my economy’ just like many of you will be doing once it becomes apparent that those foreign hating Brits have finally thrown their xenophobic dummy from the pram. And if anything is to be gained by leaving then at least it’ll be the ability of Londoners to afford a home once house prices plummet on exit. Not to mention the 350 million in savings per day that could be better spent in the health service or the pay this bleedin taxi fare!!
But what will a Brixit mean for us lot living here?
Well first up there have been lots of musings about the land border that is currently shared between the Republic and Northern Ireland. Of course at the moment this border is almost invisible, unpoliced and no more that the width of a goal line. It stands unattended like a Mexican’s ultimate fantasy. Currently it feels much the same as when, for example, you live on a lovely side of the road in Dublin 4 and when you cross the road for a pint of milk you’ve now entered Rathmines. There’s no perceptible change in the landscape and nobody, as yet, is screaming ‘halt. Who goes there?’
But after Brixit, goal line technology will follow thick and fast in the form of passport controls at Newry, Aughnacloy, Strabane and on all other roads by which time the traffic jams will long enough to resemble the good old days of visiting times at Guantanamo Bay. And all to stop Irish friends and relatives, who of course would now be referred to as immigrants, crossing the border from the Republic into the UK for a spot of shopping.
‘Immigrant! I hear you protest and well you might. ‘I only popped out for a fag! will soon become a common refrain for those whose office or factory front door is in the Republic but whose smoking hut is twenty yards away in the UK. We’ll be patted down, searched and scanned in much the same way as the French routinely frisk entering Syrian refugees in the hope of finding more recipes that might include a tail the length of a baguette.
We’ll be asked all sorts of questions beginning with ‘What is your business in UK?’ to which we’ll no doubt reply ‘I’m just nipping down for a pizza with my sister or to Esso to top up the car for weekend.’
But that’s not all because hot on the heels of all of this will follow customs posts placed on all roads leading across the border to ensure the collection of tariffs. ‘No these are not people from Wales, but taxes on goods that go from one country to the other.
So what’s to be done then, Derek, I hear you cry. Well one little idea I’m glad to report is not only simpler than a boiled egg but also environmentally and politically friendly. Once the border opens everyone on this side of it with a bicycle will make the journey up to it with sand bags slung across their handlebars. These bags will naturally be searched for various contraband and AK-47s. The sandbags once inspected and the border guard satisfied, you will be ushered through on your way. Everyone will get a train back to the republic. In the meantime I would have opened a bicycle shop in Fermanagh named ‘A Great Little Ride’ from where the smuggled bicycles will be donated to Syrian refugees fleeing persecution and the rest sold to the Orange order so that on the 12th of each July they can peddle through the Ardoyne Estate essentially halving the amount of time they piss off the residents. This smuggling campaign will continue until the Brits agree to cancel the building contract with Donald Trump Fencing Lt’d.
9th April 2016