Just two years to plan our post Brexit celebrations

Sandra Chapman

Sandra Chapman

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I’m writing this column on the day the Prime Minister sent that Article 50 letter to Brussels.

On television I watched the reaction of Donald Tusk, president of the European Council when he received it.

Article 50 was triggered on March 29

Article 50 was triggered on March 29

He held it out like a parent receiving a bad report from the school about their child’s behaviour.

Look, you could hear him thinking, what am I supposed to say about this?

Did he think it would never get to this point? We’ll probably never know but he doesn’t strike me as a man who hates us Brits.

Rather, he must have felt sad that the great European experiment of which he is so proud, has sufficient holes in it for one member to want out, the quicker the better. He had that ‘where are we going wrong’ look on his face.

Theresa May’s letter was firm but in a kindly way. She may not have written it all herself but that feminine softness was there.

I’m sure a male Prime Minister would have been a lot more brutal. The late Sir Edward Heath for example, the man who took us into what at first was not much more than a Common Market agreement back in the 70s, would most likely have confined the wording to a few paragraphs. He was a man of few words.

David Cameron resigned before he had to write such a letter. Had he soldiered on an Article 50 letter from him would have been full of apologies, anything to cover up his embarrassment at the referendum result. Cameron, I thought, was only ever strong when things were going well for him.

Two years from now I can only guess at what we will be doing as an independent nation again, able to make our own laws having left behind all the nonsensical rules and regulations that rained down on us for so long and which have cost us all a fortune.

When we voted to join the Common Market in 1974 I could never have imagined how much control would have been taken from us.

In two years time will we be celebrating by lighting bonfires on hilltops – as our ancestors did in the past when they had an important occasion to mark – and popping the champagne corks at all those parties we may hold?

Will we liken the decades, shackled as we were to European control, to having lived through a kind of psychological tyranny? Free at last to be true Brits again, will it all go to our heads?

By which time, of course, Russia’s Putin may want to throw as much military weight about as he can get away with and as for Donald Trump, his protectionist policy for America will be such none of us will want to go there.

Don’t worry, I’m not losing sleep over all this, nor should anyone else. In two years’ time I’ll be planning my own Article 50 – our 50th wedding anniversary celebrations - assuming that leaving the European Union hasn’t left us all bankrupt and I’m still fit enough to get up a ladder and clean out my guttering.

By then I’ll have clocked up endless miles walking the dog, learned every recipe in Mary Berry’s pink book, stopped fretting about my wrinkles and persuaded Himself to build me a glass domed observatory so I can follow the planets each month.

I will hope to have learned a bit more Greek since my grandchildren speak to me in a mixture of English and Greek (their mum is Greek) and it’s such a nice language.

Who knows I may even make an attempt at learning Irish. I use the little bit of the latter I do know to bamboozle the PPI and other cold callers trying to sell me something. They soon hang up.

I look forward to post Brexit, another chance 
for me to bring out the wedding album.