It is reported that the Belgian Prime Minister has accused the United States of ‘putting a gun to the EU’s head’ during trade negotiations; something the EU would never do. Ask Theresa May.

You know that Donald Trump is for,
A world-wide, global all out war,
I don’t mean one that’s weapons grade,
But rather one affecting trade.

He threatens he will punish those,
He doesn’t like and will impose,
More tariffs on all sorts of things,
From steel and cars to earrings.

The EU says, “That’s so unfair!
To tax goods that are going spare.
And this is threatening, what you’ve said,
It’s like a gun against our head.

Now we would not behave like this,
Just ask the English, ask the Swiss;
We’re in discussion everywhere,
And all the time are more than fair.”

The English and the Swiss then sighed,
“It sounds like the EU has lied;
They set up meetings tête à tête,
But really don’t negotiate,
And if you don’t do as they say,
They give you a big bill to pay.

For they are bullies, simply put,
They walk around the room and strut;
They simply blurt out their demands,
And also lots of reprimands.

They are frustrating, that’s for sure,
Drive you to products of the brewer,
But one day they’ll run out of luck,
And that’s when they will come unstuck!

They rule, more or less, by decree,
Which doesn’t work when folk are free;
They don’t allow too much debate,
So one day will disintegrate.

For people won’t be pushed around,
Will vote with feet is what we’ve found;
For some it is the final straw,
And what we’re doing Brexit for.



It is reported that Poland is to build a 770 mile long fence along its eastern border with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to keep wild boars out as they spread African swine fever.

The Poles don’t like the Russian boar,
Of which they’re seeing more and more,
Because they have a bad disease,
Passed on to local pigs with ease.

It’s fever, African of swine,
Which I must twist to make it rhyme,
And farmers are all up in arms,
Because it does a lot of harm.

So there are plans to build a fence;
The study has been quite intense,
And with a height of six foot four,
It should keep out the Russian boar.

But boars are clever, they can dig,
At least as well as any pig;
So it must be part underground,
Or so the detailed study found.

So that’s the plan, they start it soon,
At least before the end of June,
And, though a fence, it’s not as tall,
As Donald Trump’s more famous wall.

It will be built of post and wire,
As I said: six foot four, no higher;
They’re certain to achieve their goals,
’Cos they’ve got lots of six foot poles!


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 – www.securityconference.de Kai Mork / Wikimedia commons



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


French 1

It is reported that French President Emmanuel Macron has announced in a speech in Burkina Faso that he will make French the first language of Africa and then the first language of the world. Dream on!

French presidents, you might have thought,
Have many things they really ought,
To do while they in office are,
As well as propping up the bar.

The country’s big, it must be run,
The job’s not meant to be much fun,
Especially when Brexit looms,
Creating words for Macron’s plumes.

Speaking of which, his latest ploy,
Deliberately to us annoy,
Is rubbishing the English tongue,
And say he will, before too long,
Make French the leader in its stead,
Which will help France to get ahead.

In Brexit, then, he sees his chance,
For this change might his plans enhance,
Because right after we are gone,
In the EU there’ll be no-one,
Whose formal language English is,
For talking politics and biz.

So Macron soon might make his move,
The English language to remove,
From all of Europe’s regs and rules;
But other people are not fools,
And they know it is not the case,
That French the English can displace.

For it’s so commonly in use,
With rules for grammar rather loose,
And as you can see in this verse,
The writing’s really none the worse,
For what the French would think kaput –
The words in any order put.

So Macron should take care right now,
Since he has rashly made this vow;
But, luckily, in French he spoke,
Not understood by many folk,
And though he’d think that a disgrace,
It might just help to save his face!



It is reported that Theresa May and the European Commission thought they had reached agreement on the Irish border conundrum but it seems nobody asked the DUP.

I’m not intending to explain,
(For that would just create more pain,)
What was said and maybe was not,
Both in and out of earshot,
About the Irish border which,
In Brexit’s something of a glitch.

Too many people think they’ve got,
A veto and so the upshot.
Is, frankly, no-one will agree,
How border travel can be free.

And these demands that some maintain,
Are very different (not the same),
And no-one’s even slightly wise,
And hence prepared to compromise.

So all these circles can’t be squared,
With some of the pain being shared;
In fact, no-one at all would budge,
So this last draft was just a fudge.

On the EU side this seemed fine,
They do these fudges all the time;
But harder heads were now at play,
Who found out and to their dismay,
When they discovered what was writ,
They all had a collective fit.

The detail I will not repeat,
So trouble not to take your seat;
But I say this because it’s clear:
There isn’t even a veneer,
Of common sense in what’s been said,
So no basis to go ahead.

What happens next we can but guess,
There might be more dismay, not less,
But I hope in the future tense,
We might see some more common sense.

At least The Donald’s not involved,
He might think this a problem solved;
But Ireland wouldn’t build a wall,
They’d not want that at all at all.



It is reported that the Catalan Government has declared independence from Spain, the Spanish Government has dissolved the Catalan Government and nobody quite knows what will happen next.

The Catalans have done it now,
They’ve started an almighty row,
Declaring independence but,
The cat amongst the pigeons put.

The man in charge now fears arrest,
And Government may think that best,
But such an action might provoke,
The Catalans and unrest stoke.

For while a lot in favour are,
You’ll find in almost any bar,
Maybe more on the other side,
Who independence can’t abide.

So what to do? It isn’t clear,
For violence is what folk fear,
If people don’t obey the law,
Or start another civil war.

So, right now, cool heads should prevail,
Perhaps not throw the man in jail,
And see what happens Monday when,
He might go back to work and then,
It might be clearer what is best,
To try to minimise unrest.

This story’s got some way to run,
It’s likely not to be much fun,
But writing English and in rhyme,
I will update from time to time.

Globe-trotter / Wikimedia commons