All aboard Chris Grayling’s Brexit pizza ferry – what could possibly go wrong? | James Felton | Opinion

We’re about to “give back control” to a government that can’t tell the difference between P&O and Papa John’s pizza. I know you think that sounds good, but one day you’ll want insulin or a functioning health service rather than a pepperoni stuffed crust.

In case you’ve missed everything, here’s a quick recap … In 2016 government members insisted that Brexit was easy and no deal was better than a bad deal. After realising that was shite, they discovered they had to do quite a lot of planning for no deal. This left them in the awkward position of going back to a public they’d just told that Brexit would improve their lives and assuring them there’d be food.

A few short months later the Brexit secretary realised that adequate food might be a madman’s pipe dream. Someone had slipped him a map and he’d noticed the UK is an island and as such a lot of our food arrives by boat, which would be slowed down somewhat by customs checks in the event of no deal.

Having got up to speed on GCSE geography and a quick “humans need food to live” biology recap, the cabinet realised they’d have to have boats on standby if we’re going to continue to eat.

To this unimportant task they assigned their best and brightest: Chris Grayling, a man you’d supervise if you saw him attempting to use scissors.

Grayling set to work, immediately awarding a £13.8m ferry contract to a ferry company that doesn’t own any ferries.

To be fair to him, replacing a system that works with an untested ferry firm with zero ships or shipping experience is one of the most concise Brexit summaries we’ve seen so far. Assuming the government has abandoned Brexit and is now spending 100% of its time creating metaphors for how shit Brexit is going, credit where it’s due – this one is bang on.

Grayling said in his defence that the government had “looked very carefully” at the ferry firm on Wednesday and concluded that it was up for the job. So, of course, by Thursday it turned out the ferry firm was actually a pizza delivery firm.

Seaborne Freight and a local branch of Papa John’s have an alarming amount in common, it turns out. Neither of them have experience running a ferry, for instance, nor make what a sane person would describe as “food”.

It also transpires that Seaborne Freight, a shipping company, has copied its terms and conditions on its website wholesale from a takeaway delivery business.

The company the government has trusted to keep us from starving to death has no money, no track record, no business history or specialist knowledge of the shipping industry. The only thing it seemingly does have is a website you’d happily buy a pizza from, and £13m.

Sure they might be terrible at having ferries, but they could also be the most successful Italian takeaway of all time without ever baking a calzone.

“You’re not being fair, terms and conditions are small print,” I hear you say. “There’s no way the government could have caught that.” Which is why they were found by some random bloke on Twitter using a service inaccessible to government known as “a five-second Google search”.

One can only imagine what the government’s “careful looking” into the company involved.

“I’ve found another ferry firm – it’s all sorted, prime minister.”

“Nice. How many ferries?”

“Really great company.”

“Like 10 or 20, we’re gonna need a lot.”

“A good, British company.”

“How many ships, Chris.”

“A new startup, very keen.”

“Chris.”

“Got a ship in the logo.”

“Chris.”

“Yes?”

“Does – and I can’t believe I’m asking this – does it have any ferries?”

“Not strictly speaking.”

“Give me that proposal, Chris.”

“No.”

“Chris.”

“I …”

“This is a pamphlet for a pizza company.”

“They’re new, but they’re finger‑licking good.”

I’ll admit, pizzagate has completely changed my perspective on Brexit, and for the first time in years I’m actually feeling quite positive.

On the one hand I’m pretty sure we’re all going to die, but on the other it’ll admittedly be quite funny to see the NHS destroyed when the Tories accidentally let it be taken over by a kebab vendor who fancies a change of scenery.

James Felton is a TV and radio comedy writer

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