'We have taken back control. We have bent our bananas': Theresa May's explosive Article 50 letter revealed*

Tom Peck
Theresa May will send a letter to the European Union, triggering Article 50: Getty

Dear Donald Tusk,

I hereby notify you that the UK is leaving the European Union. I am, to use the vernacular, triggering Article 50. Or you are. Anyway, someone is. No one seems to know exactly. Trigger is not really a verb, and even if it were, how can you trigger an article? It’s like violining a doorknob. That’s what my top man in Brussels told me anyway but don’t worry, I’ve sacked him.

I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to you. You will know that Article 50 was only ever written for use by a rogue dictator, but since the UK’s historic referendum last June we have done our best to show willing on that front by installing an unelected leader (me!) and turning the country into a one party state. Indeed so dedicated have our efforts been on that front, we may even soon be two one-party states, but that particular project is ongoing (bit of inside info on who’s going to win that one by the way: you don’t drop a grand on brown leather flares then lose at ‘legs-it’.)

Anyway, I know you have been keeping up to date with affairs in Britain and so will already have a clear idea of my demands in the forthcoming negotiations, but I am happy to set them out in detail here:


  1. All of the good stuff.

  2. None of the bad stuff.


To be clear, the UK is not leaving Europe. Plate tectonic patterns indicate that Great Britain will remain part of the European continent for at least the next 100 million years and even after that point, I am confident that favourable relations can be established with whoever is Conservative Prime Minister at the time.

The UK loves Europe. Your cars, your wine, your cheeses will all be welcome in the UK after it has left the European Union. The only thing we don’t want is your people. You talk a lot of the European Union’s “four freedoms”. Well I will gladly take three of them, and I hope you too will approach the days and months ahead with the same spirit of cooperation.

We are both warned that it will be tough. You yourself have said there will be “no cakes on the table, only salt and vinegar”. As it happens I’ve given up salt and vinegar crisps for Lent, so if you could have a word with the caterers about a few more options, just for the next couple of weeks, I’d appreciate it.

But it needn’t be so tough. You may find we are surprisingly chilled out. On agricultural regulations, on financial services, on fishing policy, on anything at all you’ll find we’ll roll over pretty easy as long as you don’t try it on when it comes to the people thing. Britain’s full and that’s that.

Besides, things don’t need to get too tense. You’ll soon discover David Davis laughs at anything. In fact the graver the matter, the more certain it becomes that we’re absolutely doomed – these are the things that, in my experience, make him laugh all the more. And there’ll always be Boris Johnson on hand with a smile and a lighthearted Nazi analogy. Of course, I cannot guarantee I won’t have sacked him long before all this is over, but if needs absolutely must, I can always send over Ken Livingstone.

Above all else, this you must not forget: you need us more than we need you. That is an incontrovertible fact. Over here, Nigel Farage says it on the TV once every eight minutes so it must be true. You need our innovative jams! You need our complex financial products! And of course, where would you be without the Great British Nissan Qashqai?

We have taken back control. We have bent our bananas. We have turbo-charged our vacuum cleaners and recycled our teabags. Our children stand ready to blow up balloons of their own free will, ready to tie with all the red tape that we will cut. We will fight you on our newly polluted beaches! I say again, we have taken back control! Now we wait patiently to see what you will be prepared to give us. Be nice now. Please.

Yours sincerely,

Theresa May

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