Apparently the phone cable for the David Davis (Do you have Brexit worries? Call me anytime) bat-phone, which usually lies, still wrapped in its original cellophane, in a box in a dusty cupboard, was plugged in at Downing Street for the first time for a few minutes yesterday, so that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom could give the First Minister of Scotland a call to discuss current mutual matters of interest.
Our source at Downing Street, who happened to be serving tea and empire biscuits at the time, was in the room, and heard the full conversation on speakerphone. The following is her recollection of that conversation…….
Theresa May: “Hello is that you Nicola?”
Nicola Sturgeon: “ Hi, yes. Good morning Prime Minister. How are you? “
Theresa May: “ I’m fine and dandy, dear girl. I was a bit down last week. Everywhere I went everybody seemed to be turning their backs on me for some reason, but I’m fine now. I’ve bounced back. Listen, I just thought I’d catch up with you on one or two things. As you know, we are moving ahead with our UK Brexit planning.”
Nicola Sturgeon: “Oh, are you? That’s interesting. What are the plans?
Theresa May: “ Cough, splutter. Ah now. That would be telling. We need to play our cards close to our chest to make sure we get the best possible outcome for the UK as a whole you know.”
Nicola Sturgeon: “ Yes, but Scotland is part of the UK, so would it not be a good idea to let us in on the plans?”
Theresa May: “ Well. erm, all you need to know right now Nicola is that we have everything in hand. Nothing for you to worry about.”
Nicola Sturgeon: “ I’m not totally convinced Prime Minister. It’s lucky then that we are working on our own proposals for protecting Scotland’s access to the European single market and skilled workers from the European union.”
Theresa May: Yes, I heard about that. I’ve promised the press that I’ll have a glance at whatever you propose, but you do realise that we can’t have regions of the country going off willy-nilly to Brussels for a separate deal, and queering the pitch for our UK Brexit Plan.”
Nicola Sturgeon: “ I presume you mean that London won’t be looking for special status for its financial institutions then?”
Theresa May : “Ah now, that’s a slightly different situation. All of this is covered in our UK Brexit Plan.”
Nicola Sturgeon: “ Ok. Would you mind sending me a copy of the UK Brexit Plan then, so that we can see what implications it has for Scotland?” After all you do recall that 62% of voters in Scotland voted to remain in the EU, don’t you?”
Theresa May: “ Sorry sweetie. We’re having problems with our mail couriers, computers and fax machines, so that might be a bit difficult. Industrial action you see. No one to carry out the maintenance. Frightfully inconvenient. As I said dear heart, don’t worry, We’ve taken account of the concerns of all of our devolved regions. Your views were at the front of our minds when we prepared the first draft of the UK Brexit Plan. Remember though that the UK as a whole voted by a massive and convincing 4% majority to leave.”
Nicola Sturgeon: ‘”That’s strange, because I don’t remember you asking me specifically for my views. Ok. That being the case can you perhaps then read to me, over the phone, an extract from the UK Brexit Plan, maybe from a section that refers to how future trading agreements for Scotland will work?’
Theresa May: (Clearing throat) “ That I can do. Brexit means Brexit, and will be big, and shiny, and red, white and blue.”
Nicola Sturgeon: “ You don’t have a plan, do you?”
Theresa May: “ Sorry Nicola, I must dash. The police have arrived to remove the French Ambassador, who’s been sitting outside in the carpark, deliberately ignoring me for a month now. Lovely to speak to you. Remember, we’re all in this together. V for victory. England expects. Tally Ho.”……..(the phone line goes dead).
Nicola Sturgeon : (Shakes head, pauses, shakes head again, puts down the phone, and returns to polishing the final draft of her speech outlining the Scottish government’s proposals to remain a member of the EU single market and seek additional devolved powers from Westminster).