The scene: The Irish EU commissioner is strolling down the Rue Archimedes to work one crisp Tuesday morning, two years after Brexit.
Voice from behind bin: Psst!
Paddy stops, strolls over to the bin. A man in a long coat and hat, with an enormous false moustache is hiding.
Charles: Paddy! It’s me! Charles! (lifts hat)
Paddy: Charles? What the f**k are you doing? Is that a real moustache?
Charles: No, I had to go in disguise. If the euroskeps knew I was here I’d be done for treason!
Paddy: Oh yeah, I suppose. Eh, what can I do for you?
Charles: Is there any chance you could stop having meetings about things that affect us?
Charles: It’s just that you keep discussing things that affect us, and we’re not in the meeting, and it’s very awkward. See this? Stuff like this. (removes a sheaf of paper he had shoved down the back of his trousers)
Paddy: Where have you been keeping this Charles? Look at the state of it.
Charles: Yes, sorry, Cameron and I have to be very careful that the Taliban don’t see us reading draft EU directives. It’s kind of heresy now. The official line is that nothing the EU does affects us. So we have to read them in the jacks in Downing Street. They’ve people everywhere.
Paddy: What’s this anyway?
Charles: It’s the draft proposal on pension funds, putting a tax on funds leaving the EU. That’ll hurt the City.
Paddy: So? This is an internal EU matter.
Charles: Yes, but it affects us! There’s a load of countries in a room talking about stuff that affects us and we’re not there!
Paddy: Yeah, I can see that. Alright, I’ll see if I can put in a word.
Charles: Thanks Paddy, we really appreciate it. Have to go: I’m meeting the Dutch behind that skip on Square Ambiorix.