Many years from now, as you and your family gather round gather round a twinkling hearth to share stories, one of your children might look up at you, doe-eyed and naive, and ask, "Dearest Papa, tell us again. Tell us why it happened." You will begin to explain to them, as best you can, what caused Brexit, and how it sparked a wider dissolution of any sense of European solidarity. "But Papa," your child will implore, "Why did no-body try to stop it, why was there not more anger?" And you will begin to explain that, well, there was anger - initially. Then, then it was announced by British Chancellor, Sajid Javid, that, in the event of a no-deal, there would be a re-introduction of duty-free shopping for anyone traveling between the UK and the EU, including those traveling from Ireland. You will explain that, suddenly, everyone became somewhat broadly okay with the collapse of decades of continental cohesion for the possibillity of saving several Euro while bulk-buying 400 Rothmans on a ferry. You will conclude that, that is why a no-deal Brexit was allowed to happen; that, that is why you all now are forced to try eke out an existence in a cave - you live in a cave in this scenario - after the collapse of society. And you will tell your child to stop asking questions, as it is their turn to try suckle their daily moisture intake from the stalictite.
This is but a glimpse into a future, but a glimpse into an inevitable future.
This morning, Finance Minister Paschal Donohue, confirmed that those flying between Britain and any EU country - including Ireland - would be able to avail of duty-free prices on cigarettes and alcohol. This came in the wake of an announcement from Sajid Javid, the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, who heralded the retain of duty-free pricing in a statement this morning.
He announced that "As we prepare to leave the EU, I'm pleased to be able to back British travelers. We want people to enjoy their hard-earned holidays and this decision will help holidaymakers' cash go that little bit further."
This, this statement, may be the single most pure example of someone attempting to 'polilsh a turd' in existence. Savid Javid, is not deterred by the simply incomprehensible scale of the Brexit-shaped turd that he is facing. He is not concerned by the fact that British holidaymakers will no doubt have to incur additional costs securing visas for travel to countries within the EU - which they once could travel freely to; nor is he phased by the fact that, due to the inevitable catastrophic devaluation of the pound that would occur in the wake of a no-deal Brexit, British holidaymakers will find themselves having to spend, relatively, a far greater sum of money for an equivalent holiday than they'd have taken prior to Brexit - duty-free or no duty-free. Sajid Javid, is pleased to ignore all this. He is determind to pull on some Marigolds; get some water-vinegar solution, and some crumpled shreds of newspaper, roll up his sleeves and set about polishing up that thunderingly large puppy.
Paschal Donohoe confirmed that Ireland would abide by this declaration from Sajid Javid, should a no-deal Brexit come to pass. The Irish Finance Minister said in a statement that, "In these circumstances, the UK will assume the status of a 'third country' in terms of their trading relationship with the European Union. In effect this would mean that Excise and VAT-free sales on purchases of tobacco and alcohol made at duty-free shops, subject to quantative purchase limits, would therefore operate between Ireland and the UK."
However, he also clarified that this would not apply to those traveling between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
May god have mercy on us all.