The Brexit vote has thrown up numerous challenges for the UK Economy. But a little discussed implication, highlighted by members of the Management Consultancies Association, is the probable derailment of moves by Brussels to standardise Christmas across the European Union.
The European Commission’s Single European Xmas (SEX) initiative was launched alongside the proposals for deeper Union in the Maastricht Treaty. This led to the famous headline in The Sun newspaper, Up Yours, Santa Claus Delors! However, after initial controversy, the proposal had made progress in recent times. “We had finally got the basis for agreement,” said one of the Commission’s leading SEX experts. “The French and British had signed off a mutually acceptable regulation draft where both parties agreed that there was Noel in Christmas. Germany had dropped plans to secure a Nikolaustag Present Delivery exemption, and Czech proposals to make fried carp the common Christmas Day feast had been scrapped in the face of opposition from, well, everyone.”
Officials now warn that converging customs and standards across the EU at Christmas will be set back. “Moves to get Belgians to buy tins of Quality Street, to force Paris to accept that Noddy Holder is a musician or to sell Christmas jumpers in Milan will have to be abandoned.” However, UKIP are claiming a triumph. “For too long our traditional British Christmas has been subject to foreign influence,” said a spokesperson. “Christmas trees from Germany, stockings from Scandinavia, turkeys from, erm, Turkey. Now we can get back to a traditional British Christmas, with copious quantities of mead, a large pig’s head, bringing a festive piece of wood into the house, and the ceremonial warding off of the Black Death.”
EU officials are also worried that a loophole in the Christmas elements of the Single European Act may embolden UK negotiators after Article 50 is triggered. An anonymous Commission source explains: “For years we had assumed that the major Christmas Eve distributors, SC & Rudolph Logistics Incorporated, were based in Lapland, a Finnish territory, and so were part of the Single Market.
“However, a team from the University of Jyväskylä conducted a thorough investigation and found no evidence of the worldwide delivery enterprise in Finnish jurisdiction. They argued that it is registered in the North Pole. We had thought of imposing WTO conditions and airline duties on SC & R’s non-EU operation, but we quickly became aware that we faced a possible EU-wide backlash from a crucial group of stakeholders, the under-9s. So we permit SC & R annual tariff-free access to the market.
“This should be dynamite for British negotiators, seeking the benefits of the Single Market while leaving the Union.” However, UK Treasury officials remain unconvinced by this line of attack. “SC & Rudolph is a big shiny red-nosed herring,” said one official. “HMRC have been looking for these characters for years in pursuit of a tax bill that would frankly dwarf even Amazon’s. But they’ve drawn a blank. To be honest, some of us aren’t convinced that the EU Christmas Eve Delivery Exemption – or SC & R itself – even exist.” UKIP have also argued that the “illegal immigrant” SC & R business could be replaced. “We said throughout the campaign that the money we save from leaving the EU could be used to fund our own National Elf Service.”
In a surprise move, President Elect Donald Trump, who has been hostile to the EU, is believed to be a supporter of the EU Christmas initiative. Trump mouthpiece, Billy Bush, says “The Donald” told him that “Any EU negotiators, and especially women, and very especially women aged eighteen to twenty-five, would be welcome at Trump Tower, where Donald will be delighted to play Santa, sit them down, on his knee, obviously, and talk about SEX, before grabbing their, erm, their ideas.”
In related news, psephologists and pollsters have come up with startling new evidence of Seasonal voting patterns. “Based on the Brexit referendum result, the election of Trump and our failure to predict both, we are now willing to challenge conventional polling wisdom. Our researchers are now convinced that turkeys do in fact vote for Christmas.”