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The Brex Factor: Hands together for Greg’s EU knowledge

Steve Anglesey rounds up the losers and losers (because there are no winners) of another crazy seven days on Planet Brexit

10 John Rees-Evans

Desperate to bring some momentum to his flagging UKIP leadership challenge, Rees-Evans retweeted a Twitter poll asking people to name their favourite candidate. He cheekily asked his followers to ‘Vote Early, Vote Often’, adding a winking emoji to his message.

This cunning plan paid off handsomely, with JR-E – who famously once claimed that a gay donkey had tried to rape his horse – winning a massive 14% of the poll, a mere 49% behind Anne-Marie Waters.

9 Ringo Starr

Oh for those innocent times when I’ll Follow The Sun was just a song by The Beatles, and not how their drummer evolves his political views based on his newspaper of choice. Ringo came out as a Brexiteer in a Newsnight interview in which he called the referendum vote ‘a great move’ – much like the one he made to Monaco in 1975 to avoid paying UK tax.

Nowadays the former Richard Starkey splits his time between tax haven Switzerland and low-tax Los Angeles, with occasional visits to his Surrey estate, ownership of which was transferred which to a Jersey company for tax reasons. So patriotic!

8 Nigel Farage

It’s just two weeks since the nicotine-stained man-frog appeared at a rally supporting Germany’s far-right AfD party and told it members that they should ‘speak the unspeakable’. Now Alexander Gauland, one of the party’s co-leaders, has done just that in a speech in which he compared Hitler to Churchill and Nelson, and told activists to they ‘have the right to be proud of the proud of the achievements of German soldiers in two world wars’.

You might remember the German army, Nigel – they were the ones killing our lot in that Dunkirk film you liked so much…

7 Jacob Rees-Mogg

In the latest sign that the biggest danger to his leadership ambitions is his own mouth, the world’s oldest 48-year-old described food banks as ‘rather uplifting’. During the election campaign, Rees-Mogg called them ‘absolutely fantastic’.

Meanwhile the bespectacled Brexiteer continued to deny he has Theresa May’s job in his sights, insisting, ‘I have no wish to become the leader of the Conservative Party’. Publicity-shy Jacob has emphasised this lack of ambition in two think pieces and a couple more major radio interviews over the last few days, and no doubt will be doing so again in the nine speeches he is making in a 48-hour spell during the Tory conference.

6 Tim Martin

With all the bravado of a Wetherspoons punter fortified by a couple of 10am Stellas, the pub chain’s owner has claimed he is ready to inflict ‘highly damaging’ consequences on the EU’s economy post-Brexit by refusing to serve European beers unless Michel Barnier agrees to tariff-free trade.

It’s typically magnificent bluster from the Scrappy Doo of the saloon bar, who writes in the latest issue of Wetherspoons magazine that in the year ‘since the referendum, the economy has created a stunning 300,000 new jobs’. Sadly, there was no room for him to mention that in the year BEFORE the referendum, the economy created an even more stunning 500,000 new jobs.

5 Daniel Hannan

‘It’s Boris’ cheerfulness that Europhiles despise most,’ ran the headline over so-called ‘Brain of Brexit’ Hannan’s Sunday Telegraph column on the foreign secretary. Well, not quite Dan – it’s actually the habitual lying.

Meanwhile Hannan’s best man Mark Reckless revealed that Dan’s stag do was held in Reykjavík because he had ‘expressed a desire for it to be held outside the European Union … though he turned down the idea of an extension trip to Greenland as the only place to have left the European Community at that point!’ My sides! What a fun trip that must have been!

4 Michael Gove

In 2007, filmgoers chortled when a character in the otherwise wonderful There Will Be Blood, set in the early 1900s, adopted 1990s hip-hop slang to tell Daniel Day-Lewis’ character ‘I’m your brother from another mother’.

A decade on comes an even more embarrassing attempt to appropriate the phrase, this time from the environment secretary. He couldn’t even get the rhyme quite right during an appearance in front of the environment committee, calling Liam Fox and David Davis his ‘brothers from a different mother’.

An important fact to help Dr Fox and DD sleep easier in their beds: In There Will Be Blood, Day-Lewis shoots his ‘brother’ in the head and then buries him in a shallow grave.

3 Boris Johnson

No-one is suggesting Boris’ ’10-point plan for a successful Brexit’, as published in The Daily Telegraph, was a bit thin – but point seven was this: ‘Brexit will be a success. This country will succeed in our new national enterprise, and will succeed mightily.’

So no need to worry at all!

2 Alan Bown

As a retired bookie, major UKIP donor Bown knows all about hedging his bets. On September 3, he handed an unexpected boost to Jane Collins’ bid for the party’s leadership by becoming her ‘political referee’. Six days later, he also endorsed Peter Whittle, then leading the betting, and followed up by explaining that he was ‘fully behind both’ and that it was ‘not unusual’ to back two candidates in a single election.

Well, in a first-past-the-post election it actually IS quite unusual, but that’s ‘Kipper logic for you. How long before Bown backs Islam-bashing Anne-Marie Waters, who is actually going to win?

1 Greg Hands

The international trade minister travelled to Bucharest for a tub-thumping speech about prospects there for British business, later declaring on Twitter, ‘Top opportunities for UK exporters in Romania include infrastructure, energy incl. renewables, healthcare, financial services & more’.

Thank goodness there’s nothing coming up in the next couple of years which could make trading with EU member Romania considerably more difficult.

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