The messages MPs will be getting from their local Market Square

The messages MPs will be getting from their local Market Square

Following the first instalment, here is a second update from Crumblybottom… 

We rejoin Sir Toby Amadeira, the MP for the West Country seat of Crumblybottom, after a rather bruising encounter with his local party officers. He decides to visit the famous Crumblybottom market. Being surrounded by rich West Country farmland, it is a veritable cornucopia of local delights and Lady Amadeira has given him a list of things that she would like him to get. It is also a complete contrast to all things party political and so he reaches it having put Brexit and politics out of his mind. On his arrival he bumps into a man called Tony, a local marine engineer, whom he last met while out canvassing during the 2017 election.

Tony: So what’s this then Toby, I gather you have helped delay our Brexit?

Toby: No, the Prime Minister asked for an extension.

Tony: Why don’t we just leave? Everyone is fed up of all this mucking about you lot are doing in Parliament, we just want to leave now, we have waited the two years, surely we can now go?!

Toby: It is a bit more complicated than that, it would be chaos if we just left.

Tony: But all my mates say that since they don’t know what is going to happen, all they have been able to prepare for is a so-called No Deal, so they are ready.

Toby: I think you will find that the CBI and IOD disagree with your mates.

Tony: Look Toby, the CBI speak for some of those big companies, many of whom aren’t even British-owned, many of them having no real loyalty to this country. The businesses I and my mates run trade all over the world, are British-owned and British-run and we can’t just sell up and open a new factory in Germany if we wanted to. You look round here – ask any of the traders in this market and I bet you over 90% want out and want out now.

Toby: Good to see you again, I am afraid I will need to go and do my shopping.

He heads to one of the stalls selling cheese, chooses one of the many local farmhouse varieties and hands it to Doreen to be weighed.

Doreen: Well Sir Toby, a bit of a mess this Brexit malarkey is, isn’t it?

Toby: Yes, I suppose you could say that.

Doreen: We down here voted to Leave, but you lot in Parliament seem determined to prevent us from leaving. Look at this so-called deal Theresa May brought back from Brussels, it ain’t Brexit, as far as I see it, we stay in but without any representation – that’s not Brexit. That Juncker said that deserters would be punished and it seems he will have got his way if that goes through. I know you don’t like it Toby, but we voted Leave; I know you didn’t, but you asked us to decide for you and we voted Leave. I want you to go back to that Parliament and tell them that we have done our two years and we should now Leave, no ifs and no buts, just Leave. That will be £8.90 and none of your euros please.

Toby makes his escape and goes to buy some fruit and vegetables. Josh sources his produce from all over the world and has a large wholesale business bringing fruit and veg from all four corners of the globe and yet loves nothing better than manning his Crumblybottom stall.

Toby: Hello Josh, what are you recommending at the moment?

Josh: We have some delicious brassicas and mange tout from Guatemala, fabulous apples from New Zealand and Chile, paw paws, melons, you name it, we have got it. I don’t really get involved in politics, Toby, but you see all this stuff here that I bring in from outside the EU, we have to pay 12% duty on it to protect EU growers but we can’t grow any of it in this country. I see this new No Deal tariff that has been brought out would mean that I would not be paying any tariffs on those items if we left the EU with No Deal. That would save my customers money, why are we not leaving now under those terms? Also, the VAT I have to pay on some of my imports I will not need to pay straight away to HMRC but can process through my VAT return. Those two things would really help my business a lot, bring it on Toby, let’s go WTO!

Toby: I knew HMRC had made some proposals, but didn’t realise they had gone that far with No Deal planning.

Josh: I have been impressed by HMRC, they have come up with some very good systems to keep trade moving. The transitional simplified procedures are excellent, all designed to keep trade moving. We need to move on and just Leave Toby, tell the rest of them MPs that we need to Leave now and we are not afraid of a No Deal – in fact we would positively welcome the certainty it would bring. It seems to me that anything else will just bring further uncertainty, delay, prevarication and time wasting. It is nearly three years since we voted and it does not appear as if we have moved far since then, apart from getting thoroughly fed up of you lot trying to sabotage the popular will.

Toby picks his fruit and veg and heads off as quickly as possible to buy some lamb from Fred who is a local farmer. Fred is quite a quiet man so Toby hopes that he won’t get a lecture from him too.

Toby: Hello, can I have that shoulder of lamb please?

Fred: I will just weigh it for you. You know Toby, I am so disillusioned with you and your friends in London that I don’t think I will ever vote again, let alone vote Conservative. You are trying to steal the referendum result and you should be ashamed of yourselves. Me, the Missus and all our friends just want to Leave, that is what we voted for and you are trying to prevent it from happening, so you ain’t getting my vote again. That leg is £34. Anything else you require?

Before Toby could make his exit, Beryl, Fred’s wife, chipped in.

Beryl: My sister Bella in Sydney can’t understand what has gone wrong with us, she says she and all her friends can’t believe how pathetic we seem to have become. They can’t understand why we seem to so totally lack the confidence that we are meant to be famous for. Lions led by donkeys, that’s what she says.

Toby had had enough and headed home to be greeted on arrival by a courier wanting a signature for a parcel he was delivering. Toby thought he would just at least confirm one of his reasons for not wanting a No Deal.

Toby: So how is your company prepared for a no-deal Brexit?

Courier Driver: We have a special unit who have been working on preparing for it for two years now. We may be German-owned, but considering all the exercises we have been doing, I would say we are well prepared. The company have drafted in extra planes and have assured all our customers that their goods will still be delivered on schedule, come what may. It is the only sort of Brexit we have been able to prepare for, I’d say bring it on, we have had enough of all this uncertainty. That EU lot are a bunch of wasters, all their fine dining and moving their Parliament back and forth every few weeks at our expense. Let’s just get on with it, politicos are the problem, they don’t have a clue about the real world. I think they still believe we are writing out paper waybills with quill pens and carbon paper. With electronic invoicing and barcoded waybills the goods are cleared into the country of destination almost before we have picked the shipment up from the sender. Best get on got, I’ve another 60 drops to do…

Photocredit: stevekeiretsu