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A brief and poorly-produced history.
In a special one-off, never to be repeated complete U-turn, DeadBrain turns all educational to bring you a brief and poorly-produced history of the EU. Surprisingly, it's quite accurate as well.
By the end of the Second World War, Europe was in an Economic mess. To help themselves recover, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg formed the Benelux Customs Union in 1948.
Sensing it was a better idea than a kick in the Goebbels, France and Germany joined in 1950, creating the European Coal and Steel Community.
In 1952 the Italians brought pizza and ice cream to the equation. After copious amounts of raspberry ripple, the six countries formed the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation. Six years and several million gallons of German ale later, the EEC was set up under the Treaty of Rome.
Disliking frogs' legs and having enough ice cream of its own, the UK refused to join and set up a rival organisation, the EFTA, instead. Unfortunately, it was all a bit pants so the Conservative government of the time applied to join the EEC three years later.
Charles de Gaulle, a big-nosed Frenchman, probably did like frogs' legs but didn't at all like the UK. Because of this, and the fact that he liked wearing silly hats, he told the UK to push off back across the English Channel where it belonged. Only when the old codger finally snuffed it in 1968 did the UK have a chance of getting in.
The UK joined the EEC in 1973, along with Ireland and Denmark. Despite a referendum in 1975 on whether to pull out, the UK stayed in the organisation in its various guises, even after Greece joined in 1981.
Matters were made worse in 1986 when, to celebrate the fact that Spain and Portugal had joined, they all dropped an 'e', turning the EEC into the EC. However, the multi-million pound rebate two years earlier kind of made up for this.
In 1992, the Major government signed the Maastricht Treaty, but decided that the Social Chapter was too much work and a single currency was a bad idea. Five years later, Tony Blair smiled himself into office, projecting the image of a pro-EU government. New Labour immediately signed up to the 'Social Chapter' and ate frogs' legs, but have yet to join the single currency.