Melissa Kite

The rise of the Brexitainers

If I know four Remainers who have restyled themselves as Brexiteers, then how many more are there?

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The Union Jack is flying on the front of my house. After a long discussion with the local council, planning officials confirmed that anyone can fly the national emblem on their home, so long as they don’t use a flagpole, which requires planning permission.

I was advised by an official to drape the flag from an upstairs window, so that is what the builder boyfriend has done. It looks beautiful. I do hope lots of us will out ourselves as patriots in this way — a 5ft by 3ft flag is only £4.99 on eBay, free P&P.

The next four weeks is a battle for the idea of the nation state. If that idea is extinguished, we will have no voice, no choice but to become shivering denizens of the totalitarian EU regime. So fly the flag while you can.

Interesting fact: four people have rather weirdly told me they voted Brexit when I’m 99.99 per cent certain they previously told me they voted Remain.

Four is not a lot, but it’s still four more than I was expecting. If I know four Remainers who are restyling themselves as Brexiteers, then how many more are there? And what does it mean for those who would like to hold a second referendum, blithely assuming it won’t be an even bigger Leave vote?

I don’t think these Brexitainers are trying to be nice by pretending to agree with me. No one of a Remain persuasion in the south-east of England has ever been nice to me for voting Brexit.

I think they are genuinely trying to pretend their Remain vote never happened. They have not so much swapped sides as tried to erase what they did in the referendum. They’ve gone off the idea of a borderless Europe from here to the Middle East, not for any substantive reason to do with what that entails, but because they are so embarrassed by the crushing of a democratic vote by the privileged few.

The builder boyfriend, as it happens, knows all about the lovely millionairess who took 17.4 million voters to court because she lives near his builders’ yard. He worked on a house near her mansion. He has been trying to tell me what he thinks of her but I keep telling him there is nothing he tells me that I can print.

I do think he should one day publish What the Builder Boyfriend Saw because the stories he comes back with after working on the homes of the illiberal elite are absolutely priceless. The difficult clients are Labour voters, with the exception of the odd Green or Lib Dem. The more left-wing and egalitarian they are, the fewer cups of tea they make him and the more they argue over the bill. This isn’t always their fault. Often it’s just because they don’t know their Article 50 from their elbow. He had one recently who didn’t know what instant coffee was.

But in the space of a few weeks we seem to have gone from a situation whereby ‘ignorant’ Brexit voters like us, afraid to speak out in polite company, are finding that our hoity-toity Remain friends want us to believe they were closet Brexiteers all along. I’m not arguing with them. Perhaps they were. I don’t care which way round we do this.

I’ve also noticed there are more and more comments online from Remainers calling for us to leave, no deal.

I am on various forums enjoying myself. The BB and I sit in bed at night on our iPhones. ‘What’s on your machine?’ I ask, cosying up. One spaniel is tucked inside the duvet between us, the other sprawled across the bottom of the bed, taking up most of the foot room.

While I type chunky pars of long-winded rhetoric, the builder b does his thing, when he can get it through the moderators. We compete at a friendly level to acquire the most likes. Sometimes, while commenting on an intervention by the Luxembourg Prime Minister, Sir John Major or the prime minister formerly known as Dave, I might win with a pompous diatribe. Sometimes he wins with a three-word one-liner beginning ‘What a’ and ending with the English language’s most revered expletive.

He sits chuckling to himself as he laboriously types with his big forefinger. ‘What are you commenting on now?’ I ask, as he prods his phone. ‘How do you spell Xavier?’ he says. Then: ‘Why can’t I get this up?’ I take a look. ‘Because you haven’t put enough spaces between the letters in the swear words. Here, let me do it for you.’

We’ve discovered a whole new way of bonding. Say what you like about this Brexit debacle, it is bringing people together.