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How even Claudia Winkleman's shirt has been ruined by Brexit

I didn't want to talk about Brexit today. Instead I wanted to talk about Claudia Winkleman's shirt on Strictly Come Dancing. I wanted to talk about the moment she came down the stairs on Saturday night and there was a slight intake of breath followed by murmurs of “Is she...”, “She can't be...”.

But dear reader, she was. Claudia was wearing a white shirt and black trousers and in doing so, squarely won a victory against all those who believe female Saturday night television presenters must wear a dress.

Not only was this a very satisfying fashion choice - and incidentally a very affordable one as it transpired the shirt was from high street shop Zara and can be snapped up for a purse friendly £25.99 – but she oozed Parisian-chic.

Are we allowed to say Parisian-chic post Brexit though I wonder, because where does that leave us if we can't? I'll tell you where – with ill fitting body con dresses and Ra Ra skirts. And what for goodness sake happens to the Breton top? Do we have to stop referring to it as Breton and just call it a stripy top or will the whole concept become outlawed as far too European? If that's the case, from March 2019 I'm not going to have anything to wear.

But marching firmly on to the more serious side of Brexit and the papers would have us believe breaking off from the EU has far more disastrous consequences than our future style choices. The Guardian newspaper talks about a risk analysis study carried out by experts on how risky Brexit actually is and has concluded there is more risk in Brexit than when President Kennedy decided to land on the moon.

They say it is so much worse than the moonshot because at least in that scenario there was a definite landing place and President Kennedy cunningly hedged his bets about the whole idea's success – saying it could happen within the decade. It ended up taking eight years.

The article goes on to list the most catastrophically managed projects of all time – Berlin's much-delayed new airport, the over-budget Scottish parliament at Holyrood, Airbus's ill-fated A400M Atlas aircraft and the Iraq War and risk experts say “Brexit is not part of the course yet, but it's a hot contender for the top spot.”

And in a separate article billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomsberg is quoted as saying Brexit is the stupidest thing any country has done besides Trump. He continued that it is “really hard to understand why a country that was doing to well wanted to ruin it”.

What does it matter what some American thinks, we might counter, but that American has just opened a new European headquarters for Bloomsberg in London, and says he probably wouldn't have if he'd known the Brexit vote was coming.

Of course the newspapers benefit from selling us doom and gloom stories about Brexit. They want us to think we've sold our soul to the devil like Faustus in agreeing to part from the European Union but the facts between the headlines do not speak of a much better picture. Every proposed arrangement over trade for example will see Britain worse off and the Government are keeping their cards so close to their chests about how life will be after Brexit that I suspect there are no cards.


I'm all for change, risk even, if we know where we are headed. President Kennedy had his sights set on the moon, Claudia wanted to undo stereotypes and look cool. But with Brexit we have no definite destination. We are lost out in space with little chance of ever reaching terra firma. And if we could send just one distress signal back to earth I'll tell you what mine would be, “Cancel Brexit”.

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