After all that waiting and arguing, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed leaving the EU.
The builder boyfriend and I celebrated by popping the cork on a bottle of Denbies bubbly and flying his old yacht’s backstay union flag in the dining room window, which saves me buying curtains.
The builder b drank the Dorking bubbly. I’m teetotal so I stick to fizzy water. I don’t anticipate any problems getting Perrier or San Pellegrino in the coming months but there’s always Highland Spring. Of course, if Scotland gets antsy and imposes a blockade, I will have to invest in a carbonation machine. It’s a small price to pay for freedom.
I know what you’re thinking: how come the builder b and I got to leave the EU last Friday when the rest of Britain remained locked in a nightmarish farce of Remainer MPs and a few demi-Brexiteers tearing each other to shreds over a series of faux Brexit options, none of which was remotely what 17.4 million people voted for in the referendum because every one of those ordinary Brits has more brains and backbone than that trembling, knock-kneed, lily-livered mass of MPs put together.
It was simple. In a blinding flash, the builder b and I realised that all we had to do to leave was leave. And on the date initially set for our exit, 11 p.m. on 29 March. The goings on in parliament, soon to be known as the Great Hall of The People, were completely irrelevant. The EU held no moral authority over us.
We’re out. As far as we’re concerned, the onus is on the People’s Parliament to work out how it can make us adhere to its bonkers EU vision. That’s its problem. We’ve gone, mate. All right, we’ve gone in mind and spirit, but I rather think that’s the most important bit.
‘Do you think this conscientious objecting is going to catch on?’ I asked the BB, as he got to work on the bookshelves for the mezzanine level. ‘I don’t see why not,’ he said, hanging from the gallery in a glorious state of health and safety-free abandon.
Am I embarking on a campaign of civil disobedience? If you look up all the EU laws you would have to disobey, there are so many of them it’s hard to know where to start.
I could rip up my horse passports. They wouldn’t discover that until Darcy and Grace were due boosters, and even then, would my vet report me? I might have to report myself. I doubt I would get through on the phone line.
I could force the builder boyfriend to work more than 48 hours a week to finish the house, and see whether the EU time directive police came round to arrest me.
I could go fishing 12 nautical miles off the Cornish coast and see if the common fisheries patrol did me for stealing cod.
I could refuse to pay the VAT on my gas bill. I could stop diligently sorting all my waste in order to send away plastic to be buried or burned in an official capacity in the name of pretending that the EU climate change directive is saving the planet.
Oh, I know. Here’s a good one. There’s a coned-off stretch of the A3 where ten feet of crash barrier is bent and leaning slightly the wrong way. As I understand it, the local council is not fixing it because it’s been told the entire barrier from London to Surrey breaks EU health and safety regulations. So it’s not allowed to replace ten feet of barrier; it must replace the lot at a cost of millions. The A3 therefore remains down to two lanes for a mile, causing traffic chaos until a cash-strapped council either finds millions of pounds or finds its cojones and tells the EU, via Transport for London, that it doesn’t give two hoots for EU health and safety: goddam it, we will fix a small section of barrier in Surrey and restart the traffic on our own A3! Are we a sovereign nation or are we going to grovel before a self-appointed panel of crash-barrier counters in Brussels?
More to the point, 17.4 million people voted to put a stop to this anti-functioning EU groupthink. So perhaps the BB and I should get out of the car, fix the leaning barrier (he says it would take ten minutes) and clear away the cones. ‘More cojones less cones’ could be the conchie’s slogan.
Are we the nation that once bestrode the earth, or are we the nation that allows a piece of road barrier to remain bent when told to by Macron and Merkel?
If you have not left the EU yet, then take it from me, you will enjoy it when you do.