The government’s key Brexit strategy was left in tatters yesterday as its attempt to send senior Tories to European capitals, in order to convince their governments to support the UK, failed mainly due to the common perception on the continent that these envoys are ‘despicable wankers’.
Lurdes Ballester, a senior political correspondent for El Pais newspaper in Madrid, explained that even if the key European heads of state could overcome their personal repugnance for smug Etonians who need translators wherever they go, the ploy was too obvious to succeed.
She told us, “I’m not sure who thought this divide-and-rule bullshit was going to work.
“We’re not African tribal chiefs and it’s not 1895. Sending some arsehole with a permanent sneer on his face is not as endearing as you think it is. Indeed, most continental politicians do not react well to back-handed attempts to undermine unity.”
In Vienna, Theresa May found that her engaging personality and natural warmth were not enough to convince Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to become Britain’s stalking horse at the heart of Europe.
During a tense joint press conference, the youngest head of state in Europe broke from protocol and made a subtle criticism of British foreign policy.
Kurz explained, “The Austrian people lament the UK’s decision to leave the European family.
“However, from the onset, we agreed to negotiate as a block and, believe it or not, we don’t change our plans every two minutes because some inbred called Jacob tell us to.
“Sending some haggard old woman to stare at me in the hope I’ll change my mind out of awkwardness will not work.
“Now please take your souvenir chocolates and go.”