Foreign Ministries across Europe were today stunned by news that France will, with immediate effect, hand Calais back to the United Kingdom.
This appears to be a response to the latest random outburst from UKIP MEP and professional bigot, Roger Helmer, who tweeted: “Calais was British until 1558. Maybe it’s time to take it back”.
Speaking from the Elysée Palace, late Saturday night, President Hollande told an astonished press corps: “Calais: it is a bit of un shithole, n’est-ce pas?
“Ever since we took it over it has been nothing but trouble. If it’s not English ‘ooligans over on their bloody £1 daytrip excursions, throwing up in the aisles of the local Carrefour, starting fights with the locals, it’s all these migrants!”
“It costs an absolute packet, but do we get any thanks from the British press? Pas un saucisse!
“If les Britanniques think they can do better, they are welcome to try!”
The President is understood to have made his mind up following intense discussions with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. Also present were several bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chateau d’Yquem 1990, which all agreed was rich, full-bodied and dense: perhaps the finest wine of its decade.
M. Hollande declined to provide further details of his decision. Asked later how this transfer might affect the Presidential aspirations of Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s right-wing Front National, and a candidate for the Pas-de-Calais region in recent elections, he is believed to have sniggered.
Following initial incredulity that anyone, anywhere, would take Roger Helmer seriously, international diplomats have been busy. Germany has asked Poland if it would mind returning Gdansk: Russia wants Alaska back; and Nicola Sturgeon has emailed David Cameron to say Berwick is definitely Scottish.
Meanwhile, in a last ditch effort to balance its budget, Northamptonshire County Council is offering Corby for sale on EBay.