Hello people of the United Kingdom, my name is Johann Estranger but, as I know how you struggle with other languages, just call me Johnny Foreigner.
Talking of language, I have a gripe with you. We in continental Europe were very pleased when you joined us in 1973, so much so that we made your English language one of the official ones of our community even although you were the latecomer to our party. We organised our education systems so that we taught our children to speak your language, to the extent that I would suggest that many of us do that better than many of you. That served us well when you visited us in your hordes in the south of Spain, Greece, our Mediterranean islands and everywhere else it was sunny and low cost. It enabled us to more easily see to your every need in our pubs, clubs, pubs, restaurants and pubs (but still revert to our own languages to laugh about your union jack shorts and your union jack tattoos on your sunburned bodies.)
If you know anything about language you will see that I have used the past tense in the paragraph above. That is because everything has changed and the above is soon to be in the past. You have decided that you want to leave our community, to have nothing to do with us, unless you can make money out of us and we don’t make anything from you.
The first thing that will change is that we will no longer see the need to educate our children in your language. Why should we if we are to lose contact with you? We don’t want dodgy trade deals with America and Canada (you can have them if you like) so we lose nothing there from not speaking their bastardised version of your language. We can now concentrate on teaching our children languages like Chinese, Japanese and Russian, as they will be of more use to us. “But this means that we won’t be able to speak to you when we come on holiday” I hear you say. Can I reply to that with 2 suggestions? One, maybe you should try learning another language yourselves and, 2, maybe you don’t need to communicate with us as, realistically, will you be able to afford to come to our countries on holiday anyway? (Don’t worry about us, we’ll soon replace you with those Chinese, Japanese and Russians whose languages we have learned.)
You see, you have been conned for many years about our money, our currency, the euro. It has had its up and downs (our problems with Greece did not help and did not show us in our best light) but today – yes today – our euro beats your pound every time.
This takes us into the realms of economics. (Incidentally do you know that your word “economics” comes from the Greek “oikonomia”? You always were good at stealing anything you wanted from the rest of the world.) Sorry for digressing there, so back to economics. In 1991 our euro was worth 71p of your money. In 2016 it was about the same. However, in that year you decided to leave us, so you now need to spend 88p to buy one of our euros. That’s an “official rate” so you struggle to actually get that as you buy our euros through the bank and exchange bureau (apologies for that French word) who all charge a bit extra. So, realistically you have been paying maybe 90p to 95p. At the end of the day all this economics makes your foreign holiday travel, your beer and your chips more expensive for you.
And it won’t all end there. Once you actually leave us your pain is going to increase. Everyone, even your own government, knows that things are going to get worse for you. That’s why they first tried to hide their own reports, deny their existence and then poo-poo their own figures. It will be bad .. very bad. The best estimates show the euro costing you 95p officially by the end of 2018. (How much will the banks charge you?) By the time you are off on your own this is estimated to be £1.10. So in the 5 years from 2016 to you “getting out”, our currency will cost you around 55% more. Let’s be conservative (as you do like that word) and put it at 50%. So, your holidays will cost you half as much again within a very short time and no-one would bet against double in the future.
That’s why we think that we won’t see you here for much longer. Never mind, you will still cut a dash in your union jack shorts and union jack tattoos on the beach at Brighton and you won’t have to worry about all that sunburn.
PS We’ll miss the Scots.