It was the morning after the night before, or for Prime Minister David Cameron the morning after the nightmare before following Britain’s decision to vote to leave the European Union. Slumped with his head in hands at the desk of his office study, Dave continued to process the constant stream of bad news the referendum result had brought. He had warned them what would happen damn it, Dave told himself. Why didn’t they listen? In fact it was much worse than he dared to imagine. As soon as the result became clear, there was an immediate run on sterling. As soon as the markets opened, the FTSE 100 crashed through the floor wiping out billions.
He would pick up the phone to George to run through the ramifications of Brexit, but of course the Chancellor was fighting a desperate battle to shore up the currency. Theresa wasn’t an option either, Dave thought raising a languid glance up to the BBC News coverage of the riots spreading across the country. She would be dealing with all this. The television showed a split screen of the unfolding crisis, on one side plumes of smoke billowing into the sky from all corners of London and on the other side an emergency meeting of 27 leaders of the remaining members of the EU.
Angela was putting on a brave face, Dave mused. But it was far from convincing or reassuring for that matter.
Assuming the role as de facto leader of the EU, Angela spoke for the bloc surrounded by its member’s leaders either side of her and behind her. The EU was stronger not weaker without Britain, she insisted to the assembled media. It would be the first and last member to leave and Brussels was determined to learn what lessons needed to be learned to prevent a repetition. There would be no more referendums on EU membership allowed anywhere again.
The phone hadn’t rung all morning. No one wanted to speak to the Prime Minister of what had effectively become a rogue state. Obama was “too busy”, at least according to his secretary. Funnily enough, so were UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon…and Angela Merkel…and Francois Hollande. Probably the only people willing to take his calls right now, Dave thought bitterly, were bloody Vladimir Putin and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Well, them and the head of the 1922 Committee.
Phillip Hammond, the Defence Secretary was already warning of “murmurings” that Britain’s place in NATO was “under threat”. To be fair, it was understandable. When the result was declared announcing Britain had voted to leave the EU there were almost instantaneous reports of mass desertions of military personnel. Barracks were being looted as the anti-Brexit riots spread across the UK. Submarines were said to have been surrendered by their confused crews to the Russians and Chinese. The authorities in Gibraltar were preparing to come under Spanish control. All contact had been lost with the Falklands.
If all that wasn’t bad enough, the dreaded words ‘BREAKING NEWS’ now appeared on screen. What now? He groaned wearily. This would be nothing good whatever it was. Puzzled, his brow furrowed at the sight of picture changing to live coverage of the outside of the European Commission in London where police were attempting to keep back a huge crowd of people waving the flag of the EU. A lump formed in Dave’s throat.
Standing in a flak jacket due to the riotous war zone London had become, the reporter explained how a crowd of men and women of all ages although predominantly young had spontaneously congregated around the European Commission offices to show their support for the UK’s continued EU membership. A young woman effused how racists and xenophobes couldn’t be allowed to steal young people’s future. Dave nodded in approval, but of course there was nothing he could do now. The people had voted how they voted. Perhaps some of the damage of this insane decision could be ameliorated in the Commons, but he wouldn’t be a part of such efforts.
Casting a gaze across his desk, he fixed his eyes on his resignation letter and he ran through the contents a final time. He supposed there was nothing left to do but sign it.