An alien listening into the Brexit debate could be forgiven for thinking Britain is on the verge of an apocalypse. Whichever way the decision goes, we are doomed. Both sides are attempting to sway the vote by throwing up consequences that are verging from weird to fantastical.
So we thought we would point the absurd lens onto something that matters, on our day-to-day lives. How will Brexit impact culture? We might as well base it on something that we will see on our telly.
Pubs serve house Braeburn wine and Blackberry Bramble Port
With increased trade tariffs between Europe and UK, products such as Italian antipasti and Chanel handbags become more expensive. The British public stomachs the curb in continental food and fashion, but cannot cut down on its wine. The more daring take to smuggling and running prohibition-style wine bars. The industrious turn to local fruits and berries such as the roadside blackberry and the Braeburn apple and launch an industry of alternative British ‘wines’.
Transformation of the British seaside town
Margate and Brighton see a rising tide of weekend parties as the more expensive flights mark the end of the cheap European city stag and hen do. Unfortunately the ‘what happens in x stays in x’ adage does not hold as true in Brighton as it does in Amsterdam.
The government promotes Bardsey Island as an alternative retirement destination to Costa Del Sol
The 1.2 million Britons that have emigrated to the EU lose their privileges as EU citizens, including free healthcare for retirees. To soften the blow, the government promotes Isle of Scilly as the authentic British retirement destination. Who needs sun and tapas when you can play scrabble in gale winds.
Damien Hirst places the contents of a full English breakfast in a glass tank of formaldehyde solution
As UK leaves EU it loses a lot of its bargaining power, re-negotiations with individual trade partners being a constant reminder of its weaker status. To capture the jarring, confidence-knocking experience Hirst preserves the contents of a full English breakfast in a glass tank.
Jeremy Kyle runs a Brexit season
Sit back for a season of child custody fights, ‘visa marriages’ and generations being split apart. Couple Charlie and Kasia are in difficulty as Kasia no longer has the right to stay in the UK. Kasia wants Charlie to move with her to Poznan, whereas he wants her to remain in the UK illegally. Jeremy reveals that Kasia is pregnant and brings in her Polish high school sweetheart, Karol, who declares his love and willingness to father the baby.
Small talk becomes strictly a British phenomenon
With Minis, mechanical appliances and pharma, small talk was the big (albeit creeping) British export to continental Europe. With UK seemingly rejecting Europe, all things British devalue culturally on the continent, with social conventions swinging in favour of German directness. Small talk, like Basil Fawlty, now seems odd, endearing and out of date.
A chippy, Primark, newsagents and the smell of Greggs sausage rolls in the morning. No, not Peckham, but Frankfurt. Companies like Nestle, Huyndai and Goldman Sachs moving their HQ from London to other European capitals means that many British professionals and their families will have to emigrate. No matter that they never had fish and chips in London, it is the option of having it they missed the most.
All-over Burberry is worn ironically again
Brexit marks the dawn of cultural self-awareness. Britain is an island lying on the outskirts of a much bigger island. Interest in non-English-speaking cultures peaks. Odeon runs a Moldovan film festival. The fashion industry, having learnt from the past, skips the self-shaming and encourages the ironic flaunting of British style.
Britain does not attend Eurovision in 2018
The official line is that it was due to a late entry, however everyone suspects it was to save face and avoid the certain 0 score. It might also have something to do with the fact that the presenters will no longer be using English.
So when you are at the ballot box think carefully about your decision. If you want a future where Bardsey is the best retirement option people wear head to toe Burberry then vote out… But one thing is for sure, a vote either way is likely to have profound and unexpected consequences.