OSBORNE: Hello, Europe.
EUROPE: Hello, Mr Osborne.
OSBORNE: You know that recalculation of the national contributions that you do every year?
EUROPE: The one that takes into account changes to each country’s economy?
OSBORNE: Yes, that’s the one. This year, we’d like you to recalculate it going back to 1995.
EUROPE: 1995? That’s a long –
OSBORNE: Yes, we’ve just had our economic growth revised going back to 1995, and it turns out our economy has grown more quickly than we thought. We’re very happy!
EUROPE: You do realise that this will probably mean –
OSBORNE: Look, I’m a busy man. Just get it done and don’t trouble me with details.
EUROPE: Of course.
EUROPE: Hello, Mr Cameron. We’ve recalculated your EU contributions and you owe an extra £1.7 billion.
CAMERON: What? This is madness!
EUROPE: But we’re just applying the formula that you –
CAMERON: Don’t give me your weaselly excuses! This will not stand!
[to audience] We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall –
EUROPE: But this is just –
CAMERON: Shut up! I’m doing leader stuff!
[to audience] We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!
OSBORNE: So, this payment.
OSBORNE: Does our rebate apply to it?
EUROPE: You mean the rebate that applies to all your payment?
OSBORNE: [to audience] Damn, I’m good.
And could we get an advance on the following year’s rebate?
EUROPE: That will mean that the following year’s rebate is smaller.
OSBORNE: Do I look like a man who cares about the following year?
EUROPE: Fair enough.
OSBORNE: [to audience] People of Britain! I have secured a famous victory and halved the bill!
EUROPE: But that’s not –
OSBORNE: Shut up! I’m being triumphant!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Excuse me, why is government borrowing £50bn higher this year than you said it would be?
OSBORNE: Shut up, nobody cares! Anyway, it’s Labour’s fault. And Europe’s. And Labour’s. The real story here is that I have secured an unimaginably vast £0.85bn reduction to our bill! So let us –
EUROPE: It really isn’t a –
OSBORNE: Be quiet, man, I’m trying bask in my own peroration here! So let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British membership of the EU lasts for a thousand more days, men will still say: this was their finest hour.