£40 billion isn't enough. The EU, facing a gaping hole in its finances after losing its British cash cow, is extorting to the max. But even the most generous offer from our pathetic political leaders, in return for a few cake crumbs, won't guarantee a mutually-rewarding trade deal. The whole protracted and humiliating process could be voted down by the Walloons or any other of 37 parliaments that must give their approval. So what are we waiting for? Why haven't we walked away?
Clearly David Davis is stumbling, undermined by Theresa May's desperate concessions. So, after months of exasperatingly fruitless Brexit negotiations, it's time to use our secret weapon: Steven Patrick Morrissey. We could do worse than putting forward the bellicose Mancunian wordsmith, who would relish the opportunity to poke Michel Barnier in the eye.
The former frontman of The Smiths has never eased off the contrarian pedal. In the past he fantasised about the killing of Margaret Thatcher and the Queen (I can't remember in what order), and generally railed against the Ancien Regime. Today he is anti-EU, alongside some other dubious views. His latest album celebrates Israel, he calls out the folly of transgenderism, and he decries the #MeToo sexual panic. And he asks what on earth Angela Merkel was thinking by inviting millions of Middle-Eastern Muslims to her country, replacing advanced German culture with the religious fundamentalism of the dark ages?
Guardian readers are disturbed by what Morrissey has become. How dare he express patriotism for racist old Blighty, insult the Palestinian cause, give succour to rapists and hurt the feelings of transgender activists? Yet Morrissey hasn't really changed. What has changed is that the class of the late 20th century, inspired by their left-leaning musical heroes, comfily settled as the new Establishment. And like any polity, that Establishment is self-serving, consolidating its position by suppressing the plebs. This reactionary elite, characterised by a sneering contempt for provincial Brexit voters, is a legitimate target for Morrissey.
Unlike the Gallagher brothers of Oasis, Morrissey is not a new convert to the Leave cause. Back in 2013 he told Loaded magazine that he admired Nigel Farage. After the referendum, he lauded the 'magnificent' result and a 'victory for democracy', perceiving it as a backlash against the metropolitan media. The verdict, he said last year, 'is not accepted by the BBC or Sky News because they object to a public that cannot be hypnotised'.
Music reporters hurried to the door of Johnny Marr, the Smiths' guitarist. Surely he would issue a corrective to make the world right again. Responding to Morrissey's utterances, Marr said that they 'probably don't have much ideologically in common any more'. Marr had fallen out with Morrissey in the past, and saw such political opinions as another reason not to reform The Smiths. But the NME failed to get the type of statement issued by Paperchase, after their crime of offering free Christmas wrapping paper in the Daily Mail. Rock stars are not meant to be moralists, are they?
As Brendan O'Neill argued in the Spectator, Morrissey is the true rock'n'roll rebel, standing up to the tedious political correctness that governs our lives. He is 'a troublemaker in a sea of cardboard crooners whose idea of being rad is to get a nipple pierced. The reason the Twitterati can't appreciate Moz's revolting streak is simple: they're now the status quo this bigmouth is striking against.' He tells the truth about a chattering class of holier-than-thou Remainer bores who pull the strings of power and who police the new puritanism.
Let's dispatch Morrissey to Brussels. Wouldn't you just love the press conference after the first meeting? Strangely, Barnier wouldn't be there. That's because Morrissey hated this dreadful Eurobeat disco. And at last he was able to enact his favourite lyric: 'Hang the DJ'.