In his new book, The Language of Brexit, Professor George Fishlove dedicates a chapter to Brexit Proverbs, here are a few of our favourites.
If at first you don’t succeed vote and vote and vote and vote again
If Parliament doesn’t like your deal keep making them vote for it until they do. Didn’t like the result of the first referendum? Hold another referendum until you get the result you are looking for. Never give up.
Strong and stable
Like kids in the 80s confusing their parents by saying bad when they meant good, if someone claims to be strong and stable she means she’s weak and increasingly unhinged.
Brexit means Brexit
Shorthand for “I’ve got my fingers in my ears, I can’t hear you la la la la la”. Use this when you want to end an argument you know you can’t win.
Hope for the best and only prepare for the very best
Planning and preparing are for so-called experts, assuming that everything will be fine means it definitely will be. Anyone that says otherwise is a doom-monger and agent of Project Fear. If it turns out it isn’t fine repeat “Brexit means Brexit” and move your funds offshore.
Like flogging a dead unicorn
Either a reference to the futility of trying to negotiate with the EU or a euphemism used by Boris Johnson when he’s not getting enough column inches.
Give them an inch, and they will take 1.6km
Empirical evidence that Brussels is taking control with their straight bananas and decimal measurements.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
See the chapter on the 2016 referendum in David Cameron’s autobiography for details.