The Mad Max Brexit dystopia speech David Davis should have given

“And may god have mercy on our souls – for mankind surely won’t.”

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“Let me get one thing straight. Fears that Brexit will plunge Britain into a Mad Max-style dystopia are based on absolutely nothing. Really, I don't even know who it is who's putting that rumour about. Sure, there was that slide deck created by my own department, but it was never intended for public consumption, and anyway the pictures were very clearly meant as a joke.

“At any rate: the idea that leaving the single market will turn the green fields of Buckinghamshire into a lawless desert kingdom fought over by warring tribes on stilts with guitars that shoot flame whenever you play a major seventh is very wide of the mark. As things stand, whatever our future relationship with the EU, the booming Milton Keynes economy should have access to adequate water supplies until at least 2020.

“Let me say, too: driverless cars are our future.

“It is also worth remembering that, since the British people exercised their democratic right and voted to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom has received record foreign direct investment. This is an unprecedented vote of confidence in the British economy as it diverges from the continent. And it goes to show that the chances of the British people finding themselves fighting their loved ones over the decaying remains of their neighbours, just so they can snap open their bones and eat the delicious, nutritious marrow inside, are *chuckles* slim, to say the least. In my constituency alone, we have two new branches of Tesco Metro.

“It is worth re-iterating, too, that there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland. Thanks to new computer and drone technologies, we expect people and goods to continue to move freely between the North and the Republic. So the idea that we will need manned customs posts, let alone an enormous Berlin Wall-style barrier with watchtowers and floodlights and traitors being shot as they try to scale the wall and escape into the still-civilised EU, is complete and utter nonsense.

“Let me be clear: Britain must leave the Customs Union. That is what the public voted for. Now that is what the public must get.

“But it is time, now, for us to put aside our differences – for the country to come together, and for Remainers to support the government as we endeavour to get the best Brexit settlement that we can. It is no use just standing on the sidelines complaining that you don't like the referendum result. It is no use pointing out that, 20 months after the vote, the government has still yet to even decide on what it wants its future relationship with the EU to look like.

“And it is absolutely pointless to stockpile canned food and weapons in that concrete bunker you’ve had built at the end of your garden, just so that you can survive the total breakdown of all social and economic relationships that our decision to leave the European Union will inevitably bring about. It is insanity to even try to plan for the sort of kill-or-be-killed world which will make the last act of Threads look as warm and comforting as an episode of Peppa Pig. Brexit means Brexit, we are going to make a success of it and the living will envy the dead.

“Thank you. And may god have mercy on our souls – for mankind surely won't.

“Now. Would anyone like some warm water? I'm sorry, but I think we've run out of tea.”

Jonn Elledge is a freelance journalist, formerly assistant editor of the New Statesman and editor of its sister site, CityMetric. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook.

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