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Laterally SpeakingBreaking up is Hard to Do

Breaking up is Hard to Do

…So sang Neil Sedaka in 1962, but I’m referring here to individual countries rather than individual people. Scotland breaking away from Britain, UKIP voters splitting from Europe, plus Russia and her fractious former Soviet Empire and the Ukraine in particular… it appears that separation and going it alone is all the rage. A vote for independence seems so clear and so unambiguous, but breaking up is harder and more complicated than anyone at first thought. Even the simplest clear-cut decision can produce entirely unpredictable results as the following lateral take on forthcoming events may show. Of course you mustn’t believe everything you read in print…

Summer 2014: Following UKIP’s success in the European elections, anti-Europe fever sweeps Southern England. Caught up in the general euphoria (and rather jumping the gun), the Isle of Wight declares independence by mistake. 250 loyal English subjects wearing masks occupy Newport town hall in protest when Roman Abramovich buys up Cowes Week. A ticket to Ryde now costs three million roubles. In defiance, Honiton turns itself into a tax-free Euro Zone while West Dorset declares itself independent from the Isle of Wight. Dorchester is twinned with Kiev and Ukrainians flock to southwest Dorset. In sport, Andy Murray is knocked out in the first round and renounces Wimbledon for being ‘too English’ and not fair to Scots. Meanwhile in Brazil, England lose to Germany on penalties (this is not news nor even connected to this article—it’s just obvious). Wayne Rooney emigrates to Honiton for tax reasons. Rugby Union fans riot in Honiton.

Autumn 2014: Following the ‘Yes’ vote, Scotland becomes an independent nation. Taking advantage of many companies wishing to leave Scotland for financial reasons, Scottish Community Business Parks are created throughout the southwest (complete with Irn Bru drinking fountains, fried Mars Bar cafes and Keep Fit classes in Gaelic). Tennents Brewery is persuaded to move from Glasgow to Taunton while Lloyds Banking, Standard Life and RBS all move from Edinburgh to Chard bringing thousands of jobs with them. For some reason, nobody moves to Yeovil.

Ukrainian is now widely spoken and recognised as an official second language in Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland. Highland Spring Bottled Water moves from Scotland to Walditch near Bridport. Their new product is called ‘Wal Spring’ but—owing to a major oversight—someone copies the wrong parts of the word by mistake. The resulting bottles of ‘Ditch Water’ are not as successful as originally hoped.

In other news, Cornwall releases its own currency (‘the Rock’) and the Marshwood Vale establishes its own legislature in Charmouth (rather cutely known as the ‘Charm Parliament’). Seaton, the Isle of Purbeck and the village of Burton Bradstock all declare independence but cannot agree on a common design of postage stamp. The Isle of Wight goes broke following Mr Abramovich’s failure to establish a Formula One circuit near Shanklin.

Winter 2014-15: After independence, anti-Scots feelings run high throughout the UK. Dundee cake and Edinburgh rock are banned from sale while a license is required to own and play the bagpipes (this is actually a clever vote winner!). Lyme Regis residents are shocked to awake one morning to find a deep water channel being dug next to the Cobb. After the new Scottish Parliament resigns from Nato and removes Britain’s nuclear deterrent from Scottish waters, Lyme is now to host Britain’s fleet of Trident nuclear submarines. For security reasons, Uplyme is declared a no-go area and residents have to wear personal ID cards and bright yellow radio-active warning badges at all times. Much of Lyme Regis now glows in the dark which adds to its beauty and attraction to tourism.

Since Scotch whisky is officially banned in England, Beaminster uses the crystal clear waters of the noble River Brit to distil its own award winning whiskies. Meanwhile, annoyed at the lack of suitable Nato military bases in an increasingly apathetic Europe, the USA bails out the Isle of Wight’s economy by turning the entire island into a huge US Aircraft Carrier.

Rest of 2015: UKIP wins a general election and removes Britain from Europe. France bans Stilton cheese in protest. Somerset bans French Brie. Every county in England and Wales declares its own independence from everybody else. The word ‘United’ is removed from the UK (now officially renamed as the ‘DK’ or ‘Disunited Kingdom’). Mr Abramovich buys Chard which has now become the financial capital of the DK. And oh yes… Russia invades Portland, Weymouth and Dorchester.

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