How Britain became the Sevco of Europe

Remarkably there is an organisation that makes the Sevco High Command look like a centre of excellence:

The British government.

Yesterday was a rather special clusterfuck.

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Malcolm Tucker followed Theresa May into an elevator to harshly compare her to a coffee machine.

Armando Iannucci’s wonderfully horrible creation coined the immortal term that appears terribly apposite apropos Brexit:


The European Union and the 27 member states are looking on in head-shaking disbelief.

No doubt some of the major players on the continent are rehearsing the question that I constantly asked myself in my undergraduate days and it is this:

How the fuck did this lot have an empire?

The creation and maintenance of the first truly global imperium must have taken a high level of competence.

Of course, that was back in the day.

As a child of the 1950s, I grew up amid the collapsing scenery of the British Empire.

Even after the Suez alarm call the UK still had a sizeable footprint on the world stage.

Not anymore though.

Alas, Britain has become the Sevco of Europe.

An NUJ colleague who works at Brussels has been telling me over the last year the extent to which the Brits are turning up poorly prepared to the Brexit negotiations.

Across the table, the Eurocrats have a mastery of fine detail.

Two nights ago I received a text from a senior member of the Irish government.

We have known each other for over twenty years.

I think it is fair to say that his mood was upbeat regarding the prospect of a deal on the Border with the UK government.

The following morning (yesterday) all of the major players in Brussels thought they had a deal with the UK on the Irish border question.

Here Philippe Lamberts MEP explains to a journalist the outline of the deal.

Later yesterday Prime Minister May was having a working lunch with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission.

It was all in place, but then she had to leave the table because Arlene Foster, the former First Minister of Northern Ireland had held a hastily arranged presser at Stormont.

Theresa spoke to the DUP leader and the deal was off.

Was this deal a surprise to Arlene?

The fatal assumption made by those bright folk in Brussels was to assume that Theresa May knows what she is doing.

Conspiracy theorists will believe that this was all some Machiavellian sequencing to wrong-foot those pesky continentals and Paddy.

Sadly, the truth is much more likely to be prosaic.

The EU task force, representing the collective interests of the 27 member states of the European Union is negotiating with incompetents.

Last night my buddy in Government Buildings was aghast at what had transpired over the day.

He couldn’t believe the level of incompetence on the Brit side of things.

At this stage, I wouldn’t trust this British government to handle an approach to Aberdeen for Derek McInnes…

Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion