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Beginning of a short story in The Guardian
The first signs had been misleading, and greeted by some islanders with delight. After Scotland and Wales had left the Union, and Northern Ireland been reunited with the Republic, Europe lost patience with the sulky rump that remained. Decades of carping from the sidelines, while constantly demanding special favours and the repatriation of powers, were finally repaid. Germany and France, strongly backed by Europe's newest Celtic adherents, led a swift campaign to evict England. "At last," as the 93-year-old European President-for-Life, Angela Merkel, put it, "we are repatriating to you your powers, and not just the ones you asked for, but all the other ones as well."

There was much excitement, as the country, having become smaller and less influential, had also become more xenophobic. The Daily Mail which, after the demise of the Times, was widely referred to as "the newspaper of record", funded street parties and firework displays. But the euphoria was brief. Europe, not content just to evict England, also wanted to bring her low. Subtle and sometimes unsubtle trade barriers were raised; appeals to international organisations against such tariffs failed. The United States had long been looking westward, and now tended to regard England as an embarrassing ancestor, and a case for humane termination.

by gk (gk) on Sat Feb 4th, 2012 at 09:43:11 AM EST

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