A stunt pulled by a group of big name Brexiteers on a delegation to Brussels has gone badly wrong with hilarious consequences.

MEP Steven Woolfe, peer Digby Jones, and businessmen John Mills and John Longworth are in Brussels for a meeting with Michel Barnier.

To make a point ahead of talks on post-Brexit trade, the group brought a hamper of British products to give to the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.

Woolfe, who quit UKIP after being punched by another of the party’s politicians, posted photos of the group posing with the products before the meeting:

If it was meant to make a point about Britain being able to go it alone then it has badly backfired – because most of the products in the hamper have some kind of pro-EU connection.

Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson points out two of the products are made by the expressly anti-Brexit Unilever:

Before the referendum, the company said it would be “negatively impacted” by a decision to leave.

It recently increased the price of some of its most popular products, such as Marmite and PG Tips tea, because of a slump in the value of the pound. And it is now considering whether to base its headquarters in the Netherlands.

A bottle of Hendrick’s gin was also in the hamper. The global brand director for the company that produces it gave an interview in 2016 in which he said:

“Brexit seems to be an example of increasingly protectionist political rhetoric, and that creates unwelcome uncertainty for export-orientated businesses.”

It gets worse. There’s also a box of tea from Fortnum and Masons. Its chief executive told the Guardian last month:

“Brexit is an alarming issue for me in terms of our ability to hire and retain good people,” said Venters. The collapse in the pound’s value means wages sent home to relatives are worth less but the businessman also sensed a change in mood among workers from the EU. “They are asking: ‘Do I feel welcome?’ That’s more the problem today.”

Then we come to the books. First, there’s the complete works of Shakespeare.

The director of the Shakespeare Institute, professor Michael Dobson, wrote an article about Shakespeare’s pro-European legacy in the wake of the referendum which said:

“I would add that it is even more misleading to suggest that Shakespeare thought of Britain as anything other than part of a larger geopolitical entity called Europe.”

But undoubtedly the best bit is the book on Winston Churchill. Its author might be a Brexiteer but its subject certainly wasn’t. Speaking shortly after the end of World War Two, Churchill said:

“There is a remedy which … would in a few years make all Europe … free and … happy. It is to re-create the European family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”

The irony won’t be lost on Barnier…

  1. Of course they all belong to that claque (French term not to be confused with clique) that holds to the dictum (Latin term not to be confused with Dickhead) – Never let a fact spoil a good prejudice.

  2. Kitty Creighton says:

    I expect that, in their arrogance, they didn’t think to ask permission of the producers of the products, before using the products. Brexiters just railroading through as usual…

  3. “claque” in French, is a brothel

    Well many will be getting f****d once Brexit goes through, though it wont be any of the immensely wealthy Brexiteers who have engineered it for their own greedy, selfish ends.

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