Barnier Msc2012_20120204_315_Rudd_Barnier_Kai_Moerk

It is reported that Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has angered some of the other twenty-seven EU members by aggressively insisting on impossible conditions for the UK’s exit and threatening to deal out punishments by blocking goods and grounding flights if Britain fails to do as he demands.

The Brexit talks are now in stall,
And I, for one, cannot recall,
If any progress has been made,
Relating to the terms of trade.

There’s been some talk of transition,
Attempts at its definition,
But Barnier, chief ‘them or us’,
Has now been quite discourteous.

We must accept his terms, he say,
With which you likely are au fait,
And if we don’t he will block trade,
So that his rules we can’t evade.

So no more cars or cheese or wine,
Vacations where the sun doth shine;
And if to Europe you are bound,
Your aircraft will stay on the ground.

This is severe, it’s nonsense too,
’Cos members of the new EU,
Though they think leaving may be rash,
Above all they still want our cash.

So member states now show their hand,
For this they won’t much longer stand,
And they’ll tell Barnier his aims,
Must be more realistic claims.

For what’s been offered is inept,
No country would such things accept,
And this is, so it seems, the view,
Of other states in the EU.

So Barnier’s been ill-advised,
To issue threats of such a size,
And maybe now some other states,
Will say he should not so dictate,
But make some offers that just might,
Survive to see, of day, the light.

If he does not then panic may,
Break out if Britain walks away,
Because the EU knows it must,
Agree trade terms at any cost.

It’s unbelievable that they,
Should think that they could get away,
With such behaviour as they’ve shown,
And they should all have better known.

Within a year we should all know,
If this is right or wrong and so,
With fingers crossed let’s bide our time,
Till the next update, here, in rhyme.

Image – Kai Mork / Wikimedia commons




It is reported that after a large group of City financiers and other businessmen were criticised for their behaviour at a men only charity fundraising event, the French are still trying to entice bankers away from London to Paris with special enticements including tax cuts and free language schooling. What else could they possibly offer?

“So, Mes Amis, come here to France,
To where young ladies like to dance,
And in their frilly dresses they,
Are sure to brighten up your day.

Financial work is quite intense,
And so it makes a lot of sense,
That after an exhausting day,
You need time to relax and play.

But now we hear in London Town,
That you have had a dressing down,
For doing – now, how can I say? –
What people here do every day.

We’re sure that you will be aware,
Our shows include Folies Bergère,
In which our girls perform on stage,
With dancing from another age.

And you will find if you go there,
We’ve hostesses with some to spare;
As well as pretty they’re well-read,
And none of them is an airhead.”

But France’s efforts have upset,
Their neighbours, some who want to get,
A slice of this financial pie,
And think that Macron’s being sly.

The Dutch might be first to complain,
“That Macron, there, is such a pain;
The bankers should come over here,
Where they will find we have great beer.

They also can get on a high,
Because in some shops they can buy,
Not only wooden clogs and cheese,
But powders that their stress will ease.

And as for girls, ours are the best,
They come out well in any test,
And you can get there on the tram,
For mostly they’re in Amsterdam.”

The Germans then, as ever bold,
Said, “People will do as they’re told;
For girls we send you Hamburg way,
Where mostly in the docks they stay.

Down there it can be pretty rough,
The numbers are more than enough,
But if we say you would relax,
It might not fit established facts.”

That leaves the Poles who think they’ll be,
A head start on the other three,
Because there and on the payroll,
Are lots of girls who dance the pole!

So, bankers, if you plan to go,
Across the channel working so,
That your behaviour will not be,
Still scrutinised for all to see,
The situation, told in verse,
Instead of better, could be worse.



It is reported that Boris Johnson is still keen on a bridge across the English Channel.

We called the last ‘A Bridge Too Far’,
Conceived most likely in the bar,
While having dinner with the French –
Hence the persistent garlic stench.

But one thing Boris failed to say,
Was who he thinks for it will pay,
The billions the bridge will need,
Once other details are agreed.

He seems to think the French will pay,
With Brexit then out of the way,
But they’re masters, for good or ill,
At giving someone else the bill.

They’ll say nice things, will scrape and bow,
But these are just techniques for how,
They duck and weave most every day,
Till, in the end, they get their way.

They did it with the CAP*,
The Brexit bill as we now see,
And even the Calais Police,
Will do things to the British fleece.

So where does this leave Boris’ bridge?
Perhaps to fortune a hostage?
We probably don’t need to say,
Because no-one will ever pay.

* Common Agricultural Policy


Boris Johnson 1

It is reported that Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has proposed that a bridge should be built across the English Channel.

It is, by now, some little while,
Since we’ve heard the distinctive style,
Of Foreign Sec, that’s Boris J –
Perhaps he’s simply been away.

But this week while the French were here,
And possibly the worse for beer,
He chose the time to say they should,
Do something really rather good,
And build a bridge from France to Kent –
At least that’s what I think he meant.

“It will be easy, not too long,
And can be built for just a song;
It will be like, I can tell you,
The tunnel with a better view.

And when the bridge is all complete,
With arches very tall and neat,
We’ll need someone to cut the tape,
Then drive across without a scrape.

I would be perfect for that job,
’Cos with my blond hair in a bob,
Although the wind might blow like hell,
No-one who sees would ever tell!”

Image – Chatham House / Flickr



It is reported that President Macron has offered to lend the Bayeux Tapestry to Britain as a gesture of cultural cooperation and goodwill (and a reminder of who won in 1066); that he is demanding a payment of £44 million for policing the Channel ports and, of course, that he wants us to pay an enormous Brexit bill in return for not much at all. What could Mrs May possibly offer him in return?

The French are all supposed to be,
Great experts in diplomacy,
And so they rarely give short shrift,
But come, instead, armed with a gift.

These gifts do get a lot of thought,
Are chosen ’cos they are the sort,
Of thing to take ones breath away,
But, in the end, to make us pay.

And there might be a lesson hid,
Reminding us of what they did,
When, in the past, they were our foe,
And won one battle as you know.

So Macron’s gift that he now brings,
Which may look like the best of things,
Should be regarded in that light –
Reminder of past Norman might.

No doubt his kind gift we accept,
Forgetting that he is adept,
At using such a gesture kind,
To imply that we shouldn’t mind,
To pay him many pounds and pence,
To, at Calais, erect a fence,
So migrants just cannot get through,
And end up living close to you.

What he is after, in exchange,
Is cash somewhere within the range,
Of fifty million – that’s pounds –
To pay his police to do their rounds,
At Calais through the night and day,
Which they’re supposed to anyway.

But two sides can play at this game,
With with other gifts, not quite the same,
But which remind him of the cost,
And who it was, in fact, that lost,
The last time our two nations fought.
Now here I don’t mean Agincourt,
But rather, as you likely knew:
Napoleon at Waterloo.

We should lend them that picture large,
Depicting Wellington in charge,
Of maybe history’s greatest feat:
That was Napoleon’s defeat.

Then, while we’re at it, as you know,
Our admiral, Horatio,
Also beat Boney by a mile.
At both Trafalgar and the Nile.

And if we would annoy some more,
Perhaps we could again restore,
The Eurostar, for which folk queue,
From St Pancras to Waterloo!


Spanish galleon

It is reported that a new forest with fifty million trees is to be planted between Liverpool and Hull and will be complete by 2050.

It seems we don’t have many trees,
To sway there in the evening breeze,
But Mrs May says that will change,
Because a forest that will range,
From east to west across the land,
Will soon be planted, most by hand.

Hull city will be at one end,
Then straight across but with a bend,
The swathe of trees will pass by Goole,
And finish up at Liverpool.

At that point all the trees will stop,
For planting more would be a flop,
And that’s because there cannot be,
A forest in the Irish Sea.

But back on land there’s some debate,
About the trees folk love or hate,
And many say, since there’s the cash,
The planting should be oak and ash.

We’ve had enough of spruce and fir,
And we would really all prefer,
These native trees in pride of place,
To benefit the human race.

For they will lower greenhouse gas,
Reduce the floods in the landmass,
And when the trees have had their chips,
They might be used for building ships.

They have been used this way before,
And in future we may need more,
For after Brexit, once again,
We might be fighting France and Spain.

Back then the Royal Navy won,
With wooden ships that could outgun
The enemy because we had,
The trees, though not then any CAD*.

So, all in all, these trees are good,
For looking nice and growing wood,
And like back on the Spanish Main,
We might need them for ships again.

* Computer Aided Design



It is reported that The Government has said that we will return to the traditional blue British passports after leaving the European Union.

The British passport once was blue,
A lovely, quite distinctive hue,
And people brandished it with pride,
As they flew off to the seaside.

’Twas an impressive work of art,
With coat of arms extremely smart,
And with instructions – what to do –
For foreigners who might meet you.

It said they had to let you pass,
So they should up and shift their ass –
That’s not a donkey which is sat,
Though I suppose it could be that.

But then we joined the EEC,
And we were told we had to be,
Content with one in darkest red,
A different colour, then, instead.

The donkey bit, though, was retained,
Made waterproof in case it rained,
And then the name of the EU,
Was fixed upon the front with glue.

But now some decades further on,
Preparing for when we’ll be gone,
It looks like red will be no more,
And back will come what went before.

So for dark blue now give a cheer,
For it to all our hearts is dear,
It once again will be the norm –
One outcome of the Brexit storm!