Script: Finally British Again
Gerard Geerlings april 1st 2017 – Inspired by ‘Dad’s Army’ and ‘Fawlty Towers” and ‘House of Cards’.
Summary: In Brussels a team of the EU and one of the UK is negotiating the terms and conditions around the Brexit, they are already busy for more than a year without much progress. ‘Finally British Again (FBA)’ reports weekly on what’s going on on the main negotiations table and give insight in the political intriques which go on in Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, Edinburg, etc… Main characters: chair of the negotiation team, the chairs of the EU en UK team, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker, Federica Mogherini, Donald Task, Donald Trump…
Baseline: It’s should be a comedy in the best British tradition and close to reality so if possible recorded on a weekly schedule!
Background: The key negotiations take place in a luxurious Hotel in the center of Brussels under the responsibility of a central transition team called the Brexit Oversight Committee (BOC) but mostly named ‘Oversight’ which consists of 3 persons of the UK, 3 from Europe and an ‘independent’ chair Federica Mogherini which was agreed on after months of negotiation. This team is supported by a lot of working groups with delegations of all EU countries: a complex bureaucratic organisation where hundreds of people are working 24/7 and nobody knows exactly who is responsible for what and is still constantly growing because when a problem comes up and no decision can be made a new commission is installed by the ‘Oversight’.
Suggestion for actors: Chair Brexit Oversight Committee (BOC): John Cleese, Theresa May: Anne Robinson, chair EU delegation: Federica Mogherini: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Boris Johnson: Daffyd Thomas, Dutch journalist Joris Luyendijk: Joris Luyendijk…
Locations: the main negotiation room with a oval table called The Mess, the big EU Brexit Office where nobody knows who is doing what and everybody speaks a different language (and is called Babylon), The British Embassy from where the UK delegation works, The Pub where the delegations meet after work, nr10 Downing Street, the train from Brussels to Straatsburg..
The objective of the main negotiation team is to:
- Take care the transition goes as planned as agreed in the Transition Plan and
- Decide on issues which could not be agreed on in the working groups and
- Make proposals to adjust the transition plan when needed for the EU and UK government.
Draft content first 10 episodes:
Episode 1: The Table: on who to chair the meetings, where to negotiate, in which language and how to decide on the agenda. Because of IT security problems they decide no to use the internet but typewriters…
Episode 2: The Press: the EU wants to negotiate in the open while the UK wants to keep meeting private and only report monthly on the progress. Finally they decide on a weekly press conference by both parties on a common agreed message to be prepared by a new press committee.
Episode 3: The Irish Boarder; the negotiation team decides to start with this issue and cannot come with a solution everybody agrees on so they decide to implement a new workgroup and after some discussions it become 3 workgroups: a legal, economic and one for boarder protection one, which soon became known as The Wall Committee.
Episode 4: The Boris Complot: although Boris Johnson has no formal role in the negotiations he has a lot of influence on the EU negotiations team and both a line with the chair as with Donald Trump… A journalist makes this public.
Episode 5: Fish & Whisky: The UK wants ‘Whiskey’ to be a brand which only can be used by the UK and and abandon EU fishing ships from their territory, no Whiskey deal is made but on fish they agree on a five year transition plan which gets a lot of media attention.
Episode 6: The UK EU pensions: The EU has decided that the UK should pay for the pensions for the EU staff who worked for the EU in the past. When the budget needed for this and the salaries become public two members of the negotiation team are involved, they need to resign..
Episode 7: Budget Problems: The budget if the Brexit transition itself is already overspend on the side of the EU while the UK is doing fine and for some teams even uses sponsors who advertise with this in the media. The European parlement want this is stopped but they can’t find a legal basis for this.
Episode 8: Gibraltar: Since the start of the negotiations there have been issues regarding Gibraltar which the UK does not want to leave and to put pressure on the negotiations the UK decided to close the borders. With plains they need to deliver goods to Gibraltar and after some time the citizens of Gibraltar want to leave the UK and join Spain.
Episode 9: Leaving London: Banks and headquarters of multinationals with a headquarter in London are leaving London on a massive scale. By lowering taxes and giving working visa for staff the UK wants to stop this while the transition plan agreed they would not do this while still negotiating..
Episode 10: The Scottish: Have closed a trade deal with Trump without knowledge of the UK en EU and communicate they are negotiating with Ireland and the Netherlands.
Every episode ends with to delegates talking and joking in the train from Brussels to Straatsburg (or London or Berlin), the UK delegate drinking gin tonic and the EU one drinking German beer while the Dutch journalist Joris Luyendijk is listening secretly to them in the back of the train…
Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement or want to become part of the writers team. Netflix, HBO and the BBC are invited to tender for the production rights.
(c) Gerard Geerlings 2017 – www.gerardgeerlings.nl
With the help of Andy Evers @londonandy !