Andy Richardson: Blue passports and broken promises

Hope is fading for an EU-UK trade deal. The hardest of hard Brexits – one that’s tougher than the Tipton Slasher – awaits.

Home Secretary Priti Patel holding a blue passport
Home Secretary Priti Patel holding a blue passport

We were promised cheap food, no tariffs, plenty of medicine, boomtime for business and maximum job security. Manufacturing, fishing and farming would be sorted.

Instead, we’re heading for World Trade Organisation terms with soaring food prices, tariffs on everything, medicine shortages, businesses going to the wall, countless job losses and the accelerated decline of manufacturing, fishing and farming. Or, in simple terms, the opposite of everything we were promised.

And don’t dare ask about that £350 million a week for the NHS. Just don’t…

Still, at least the passports will be blue again rather than that awful mauve. An economic crash is a small price to pay for national decline providing we get Royal Blue passports.


Still, it’s good to know that some are happy. Andrea Jenkyns MP posted a thumbs-up emoji to Twitter on hearing the news that we’re heading for punitive tariffs. “WTO here we come!”

Lord Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has been pressing the Government for a target date to reopen theatres, as tens of thousands face redundancy and hundreds of theatres face permanent closure. The deadline for regional pantomimes is looming and August appears to be the unofficial date when many will be scrapped – though some already have. The taps that pay for regional theatres are about to be turned off. Many won’t return.

As the nation heads towards unprecedented debt, it’s good to know some are finding inventive ways to save. In Rotherham, for instance, the council planted eight miles of wildflowers on road verges. That saves £25,000 a year in mowing costs, promotes wildlife – more bees and more honey – and gives motorists a smile. Plans to save the Government £106 billion by planting wildflowers along the route of HS2 are yet to be approved, though Proxy Prime Minister Dominic Cummings is considering them and may extend the route to Barnard Castle.

A new report in New Zealand shows that it defeated Covid-19 because citizens trusted their leaders and followed advice. A yet-to-be-written survey in the UK will show that we topped the Covid-19 naughty boy chart because we also trusted our leaders and followed their example: thank you Neil Ferguson, Stanley Johnson, Robert Jenrick, Catherine Calderwood, Dominic Cummings and Stephen Kinnock.

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