A typo in the European Union Withdrawal Act could have seen the UK exit the EU with the same trading rights as a Giant Panda.
With less than ten working days until Brexit and no deal agreed by Parliament, it looks increasingly likely that the UK will crash out of the EU and fall back on WTO rules.
However, a typo in the 2018 EU Withdrawal Act could have mandated that the UK’s future trade agreement with the EU was based on a very different set of rules.
An eagle-eyed civil servant averted the disaster last night when she spotted that the EU Withdrawal Act stated the UK would revert to ‘WWF’ rules rather than ‘WTO’ rules and corrected the mistake.
Under WWF rules UK residents would be placed on the endangered species list and managed in sustainable habitats. Oil and gas mining would be restricted and trade with the EU limited to dealing in charity shop goods.
Commenting on the near miss Nigel Farage said, “Well, you see, leave means leave. Whether it’s WTO, WWF or WTF it doesn’t matter as long as we leave on the 29th of March.
“If WWF terms mean this wonderful country becomes a nature reserve then I’m all for it, but I’d still want assurances that there will be controls to stop immigrants coming here and scaring the indigenous species.”
Boris Johnson, never a man to miss an opportunity, has already added himself to the WWF’s endangered species list in the hope of being matched for a breeding programme.