Adventures in Brexit (Part 1): Resignation Nation

The Brexit deal is out and the Cabinet aren’t happy. Can Theresa survive the day?

EU mural by Banksy. Photo: Immanuel Giel

These articles each pull together a series of my ‘Brexit Live Adventure’ Tweets in one continuous piece. They are unedited (with the exception of the occasional typo correction) from those that were Tweeted live, to preserve the flow created by Twitter threading and character limits.

This series covers 15th — 16th November 2018.

LIDINGTON: First one’s gone. It’s Shailesh.
MAY: Who?
LIDINGTON: Shailesh Vara.
MAY: David, I was up until 4am pretending to give a shit about Corbyn’s recipe for raspberry jam. My brain is broken. I have not yet had coffee. Who is that?
LIDINGTON: Shit. Was hoping you knew.

LIDINGTON: Okay. Shailesh. According to Wikipedia he’s from Cambridgeshire. 
MAY: Hmm
LIDINGTON: Black belt in Tai Kwondo. No scandal section.
MAY: Nice. You sure he’s one of ours?
LIDINGTON: ‘Implemented devastating cuts to legal aid’
MAY: Oh right. Yeah. Definitely one of ours.

LIDINGTON: There goes Raab
MAY: Dom?! The little fucking traitor. 
LIDINGTON: Yup. Here’s his letter. 
MAY: ‘I Have resigned so I can spend more time with an atlas.’
LIDINGTON: Yeah. That part was a bit weird.

MAY: Who’s next? Grayling?
LIDINGTON: Maybe. Although Grayling will…
MAY: Careful! Remember the curse. Say it three times and he appears.
LIDINGTON: Sorry. Leadsom next I think. Failing that…
GRAYLING: That works too!

GRAYLING: What are we talking about?
MAY: Go away Chris.
GRAYLING: Is it Brexit?
LIDINGTON: Go away Chris
GRAYLING: Esther gave me a letter to give you
MAY: Shit.
GRAYLING: Also are you going to Michael Gove’s pizza party later?
GRAYLING: It’s a secret one! Shhhh!

LIDINGTON: Suella Bravernann has gone
MAY: Okay seriously you made that name up
LIDINGTON: I didn’t!
MAY: Who’s next? Willie Dustice?
LIDINGTON: She’s real! I swear!
MAY: Sure. Has Dwigt Rortugal gone yet?
LIDINGTON: Look! She’s on Wikipedia!
MAY: That’s not a valid source, David

<meanwhile, somewhere in London>

GREGGS LADY: Hello duck! We’ve not seen you in a while!
ED MILIBAND: I’ve been… away.
GREGGS LADY: Well it’s nice to see you again. What can I get you?
MILIBAND: Bacon butty please.
GREGGS: LADY: You want ketchup in that?
MILIBAND: Drown it.

MAY <on phone>: I hear you’re planning another pizza party
GOVE: <dry hissing>
MAY: How you do think I know?
GOVE: <sound of wet tentacles>
MAY: I propose an alternative: Be My Brexit Minister
GOVE: <ghoulish wail>

MAY: Think about it Michael this could be your chance to prove everyone wrong
GOVE: <wet clicking>
MAY: Brexit Secretary. They’d HAVE to admire you
GOVE: <subdued wet slapping>
MAY: They’d have to love you then, Michael. The people, they’d have to respect you
GOVE: <demonic purr>

<in the terrace cafe>

JAYAWARDENA: Prime Minister…
MAY: The lasagna please. And what’s the dessert of the day?
JAYAWARDENA: No, Prime Minister it’s me
MAY: <blank look>
MAY: Ranil Jayawardena? PPS at Justice?
MAY: Still no
JAYAWARDENA: I hearby resi…
MAY: Dude. I’m on lunch

<meanwhile in Staples>

REES-MOGG: Fair maid! Where is the Vellum? I must write to the 1922
TILL LADY: Paper? Over there
REES-MOGG: Vellum, sweat child! One does not use paper for the ‘22!
TILL LADY: That like Post-its? Over there
REES-MOGG: Vellum!
TILL LADY: Sir there’s a queue

LIDINGTON: Mogg’s letter is in
MAY: Tedious little shit
LIDINGTON: Anything from Gove?
MAY: I feel terror and an overwhelming urge to vomit, so maybe his human form approaches
LIDINGTON: Oh sorry I forgot to mute Sky. Rees-Mogg’s live <click>
MAY: Okay, no the feeling has passed

LIDINGTON: Leadsom’s up in the house. Says she’s not resigning.
MAY: Fucksake, can’t one thing go my way today?
LIDINGTON: Is that not… a good thing?
MAY: Think about it David. This means we STILL have to invite her to Cabinet Meetings.

LIDINGTON: Rumours about Chris now. Shall I…
MAY: Grayling Grayling Grayling
LIDINGTON: I was going to call him.
MAY: The curse is quicker. Chris have you been speaking to Gove again?
MAY: You’re covered in ichor, Chris
GRAYLING: Okay yes.

MAY: What did Gove say to you?
GRAYLING: It sang a song, straight into my brain. Like sugar, sorrow and power intertwined. Through it all, one world resolved: ‘resign’
MAY: Oh Jesus. Gove got to you.
GRAYLING: Also it gave me pizza
GRAYLING: It was Hawaiian
MAY: Sweet mercy

GRAYLING: I think this means I have to resign
LIDINGTON: Chris, you’re a valuable member of the team and
GRAYLING: That’s very nice of you to say so David, but I feel very strongly about this. I resign
MAY: You’re NOT resigning Chris. You don’t want to.
GRAYLING: Okay miss. Sorry

MAY <on the phone>: Are you in or out?
GOVE: <sound of one hand clapping>
MAY: Sorry? Is that yes or no?
GOVE: <unholy shriek>
MAY: Michael, this would be a lot easier if you assumed human form for a few minutes
GOVE: <hideous clicking>
MAY: Yes I know it’s your day off but still

LIDINGTON: Okay. Press conference booked for five
MAY: Cheers
LIDINGTON: What are you going to say?
MAY: Honestly? I really don’t know. I just thought: YOLO
LIDINGTON: Maybe do the dance again
MAY: Really David?
LIDINGTON: Oh come on! How could it POSSIBLY make things any worse?!

LIDINGTON: Okay, thinking out of the box: Go full George-from-Seinfeld-after-he-quit?
MAY: So turn up, don’t mention Brexit, pretend the whole referendum never happened?
LIDINGTON: And hope everyone is so embarrassed they all pretend the same?
MAY: I mean, it’s pretty tempting…

LIDINGTON: Rehman Chishti has quit now.
MAY: Who ARE all these people?!
LIDINGTON: I have no idea. 
MAY: I need to start reading stuff before I sign it.
LIDINGTON: Wait… ‘Trade Envoy’ apparently.
MAY: I mean what even IS that?!

LIDINGTON: Are Trade Envoys the ones who go helicopter golfing with Prince Andrew? 
MAY: That’s Cultural Ambassadors
MAY: Hang on, are they the ones we send to the hot, humid countries we hate?
LIDINGTON: No, that’s Liam Fox
MAY: Ha! Oh yeah.

MAY: All I’m saying, Donald, is you’re being VERY unhelpful here.
TUSK: Me? All I said was ‘no brexit’ is an option. It was just a little comment.
MAY: And that’s… wait, are you LAUGHING.
TUSK: *stiffles giggles* no
MAY: You are!
TUSK: I’m not!
MAY: Donald! I swear… hello?!

TUSK <laughing hysterically>: Oh god I had to hang up. I cannot stop.
MACRON: Let me answer next time! We’ll make her think she dialed the wrong number
TUSK: No, it is mean!
MACRON: Okay, but let me make another public comment about a European Army
TUSK: LOL! Okay go on then.

LIDINGTON: Okay show time. What are you doing again?
MAY: Still no idea
LIDINGTON: Just think: ‘what would David Cameron do’?
MAY: and then do the opposite. Yes I know. Actually… do you think announcing his arrest and execution would help?
MAY: Just thinking out loud

MAY: How did I do? 
LIDINGTON: You didn’t really say anything
MAY: Yup.
LIDINGTON: I mean it was pretty much a rehash of the same stuff as this morning
MAY: Yup.
LIDINGTON: It was pretty much a damp squib
MAY: Yup.
LIDINGTON: Top, top trolling
MAY: Thanks!

MAY: Okay Michael
GOVE: <eldritch hiss>
MAY: Yes, we’ll see you soon
LIDINGTON: He’s coming over?
MAY: As soon as he’s got his skin on
LIDINGTON: I’ll lock the cat away
MAY: Thanks. And send down to the kitchen for some live mice

GOVE: It iS GoOd tO SeE YOu AgaiN PriMe MINIsTeR. On MY DaY oFF
MAY: Thanks for coming Michael
GOVE: It IS Of nOoo CoNSEqUence
MAY: You’re very kind
GOVE: AlTHOugh TOday IS My DaY oFF
MAY: Yes, I know, you already said

MAY: Sorry?
GOVE <lip smacking>: HOmaGE
MAY: Oh right! Sorry! David! The mice please
GOVE <crunching of small bones>: AH! SwEet moRCels
GOVE: Do I HAve sOME on MY ChIN?
MAY: David don’t stare
GOVE <wiping>: HoW EMBarRAssING i DO ApOLOgise

MAY: Will you be Brexit Secretary?
MAY: I know
GOVE: AnD I hAVE aLWAys bEEn LoYal aND trUE to mY FriENDs
MAY: Be nice, David

GOVE: If i AM To SErvE tHEn I hAVe dEMAnDs
MAY: Shoot
GOVE: I wISh to ReNEgoTIaTe tHE TeRMs
MAY: Okay. Tricky. But maybe.
GOVE: AnD A FRee VoTE iN ParlIAMent
MAY: Keep talking.
GOVE: alSO aN IteM oN mY STeaM wISHList is ON SAle

LIDINGTON: More mice?
MAY: Okay we can work with this
GOVE: AnD OnE FiNAL DemAND. I reQUIre BoRIS JohNSoN’s hEAd oN A pLAte
MAY: Okay. Trickier but the idea has a certain appeal and I’m sure…
LIDINGTON: Prime Minister! No
MAY: Goddamnit

MAY: Okay. At least he agreed to stop actively plotting against me
LIDINGTON: Until he finishes Goat Simulator
MAY: Who’s next?
LIDINGTON: Penny Mordaunt
LIDINGTON: Development secretary
MAY: Jesus Christ
MAY: It’s hardly a ‘Great Office of State’ is it?

MORDAUNT: If you want my continued loyalty then I have demands
MAY: You know you’re just the Development secretary, right?
MAY: I mean seriously
MORDAUNT: I don’t appreciate your tone
MAY: And I don’t appreciate…
LIDINGTON: Prime Minister
MAY <sighs>: Go ahead

MORDAUNT: I think it’s about time I got some respect
MAY: You know that Gove is outside right? If I ask him he will literally flay your face off? Michael!
MORDAUNT: Keep that THING away from me!
GOVE: ThAT iS vErY HurTful
LIDINGTON: Prime Minister
MAY: God. Fine.

MAY: Okay go
MORDAUNT: A Free vote on the deal!
MAY: Fine
MORDAUNT: And I want people to know that it was my idea
MAY: Knock yourself out
MORDAUNT: Also an item on my steam wishlist is on sale
GOVE: iS It GoAt SImULAtor?
MORDAUNT: Oh my god you’ve played it?!

LIDINGTON: David Davis is on the radio now
MAY: Of course he is
LIDINGTON: He says he would have run the negotiations differently.
MAY: Did he remind everyone that he was in charge of those negotiations for TWO YEARS?
MAY: Funny that

LIDINGTON: Also Gove is all over the papers saying he’s still thinking of quitting
MAY: That eldritch little shit. I bought him Goat Simulator!
LIDINGTON: To be fair it’s not that long a game
MAY: Am I literally the only person in Cabinet not playing this?!
LIDINGTON: Sounds like

LIDINGTON: Are you not on Ken Clarke’s Discord? It’s been all over that. He’s been streaming it.
MAY: I left. I got tired of his endless Fortnite memes.
LIDINGTON: By the way, Whittingdale just put his letter in.

MAY: Okay. It’s time for us to go on the offensive and… what’s that?
MAY: Are you writing a letter?! Et tu Tory?! Give it!
MAY: Oh David
MAY: This is really sweet. But they’re not going to give me a Blue Peter badge.

MAY: So I’m controlling the goat?
CLARKE: Yes! Goat Simulator! Forward is W. Try to do as much damage as you can
MAY: Why?
CLARKE: Just because
MAY: It’s so senseless
CLARKE: But fun for the goat!
MAY: I guess but… oh FUCK OFF Ken. I see what you’re doing here
CLARKE: Who me?

MAY <entering>: Clarke is a devious shit isn’t he?
LIDINGTON: Always has been always will be. Don’t play him at Fortnite
GOVE <on tv>: i aM LoOkInG ForWARd tO CoNTInuING tO wORk WiTH aLL mY cOlLeAgUes
MAY: Is that a new skin?
LIDINGTON: He says it gives off less static in the wet


LEADSOM: I convene this secret meeting to discuss having a secret meeting about the backstop. Questions?
GRAYLING: Andrea is there pizza?
LEADSOM: No. Anyone else?
GRAYLING: I have another question
LEADSON: There will not be pizza at the next one either

MORDAUNT: I have one: Is Gove still onboard with this?
LEADSOM: I believe so. I can feel his presence in my mind.
GoVe <ethereal>: DoN’T mINd mE i’M jUsT LuRKing
GRAYLING: Ooh! Miss! another question
LEADSOM: Yes Chris?
GRAYLING: Have we DEFINITELY ruled out Pizza?

LEADSOM: Okay to confirm. We will meet this weekend
GoVE: bUT nOT oN SuNDay as i’M aT RaMBliNG cLUb
LEADSOM: There WILL be pizza
LEADSOM: To secretly discuss the backstop
MORDAUNT: Last q: Are we inviting Liam Fox?
LEADSOM: Do we have to?
goVE: hE CrEEps mE OuT

Looking for more? Part two continues here.

If you enjoyed these Tweets, then you can follow the adventure live here. You can also buy me a coffee here, or find my Patreon here. All support gratefully received — the more support I get, the more things I get to write!