What is a Brexit?

“Brexit” is a portmanteau that refers to Britain leaving the European Union (EU), which Britain is considering doing.

What is a portmanteau?

It’s a kind of suitcase. But it’s also a word created by combining two different words; in this case, the words “Britain,” and “exit.” So, to use the word portmanteau it in a sentence, you might say, “Pack your portmanteau, Britain, because you could be facing an imminent, rigorous Brexit!”

What would be a better portmanteau to describe a country leaving the EU?

“Swexit” and “Spexit” are pretty good but “Czechxit” is the obvious winner. The word “Czechxit” is reason enough for the Czech Republic to leave the EU.

What is the EU?

To keep Germany and France from going to war for the gazillionth time, after WWII a handful of European countries decided to start a club called the European Coal and Steel Community whose first rule was “no fighting,” and whose second rule was “let’s trade coal and steel.” This eventually evolved into the European Union. The United Kingdom finally joined in 1973, after trying to join in 1963 and 1967 but getting its application vetoed by Charles de Gaulle.

Wait—French President Charles de Gaulle vetoed the UK’s membership application less than 20 after the the UK helped liberate France from the Nazis? What?

I know, right? I guess he was sort of a “what have you done for me lately” kind of a guy.

How do you say “Brexit” in French?

You just roll your eyes and say “hmph.”

What would prominent British person William Shakespeare think of Brexit?

The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute
draws on. Now, the hot-blooded gods assist me!
Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love
set on thy horns. O powerful love! that, in some
respects, makes a beast a man, in some other, a man
a beast.

Will Scotland leave the UK if the UK leaves the EU?

Well, I dunno. But did you know that the current leader of the pro-independence Scottish Nationalist Party is named Nicola Sturgeon, and the last leader was named Alex Salmon(d)?!?!

Sturgeon? Salmon(d)? Is Scotland in some sort of The Shadow Over Innsmouth-type situation where fish people are taking over the government?

Obviously, yes.

If the UK leaves the EU, does that mean a spot will open up, and I can join the EU?

It’s worth a try!

You keep switching back and forth between “Britain” and “the UK.” What’s the difference between Britain and the UK?

Great Britain is an island that is part of the UK, much like Staten Island is part of the United States.

What does “UK” stand for?

It stands for “United Kingdom,” which is short for “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.”

Wait, it’s a kingdom? Who is the King of the UK?

It actually doesn’t have one—it has a queen.

Then why isn’t it called the “United Queendom,” or “UQ”?

I DON’T KNOW!!! THAT is what they should be voting on in this upcoming referendum.

If the UK leaves the EU, will they have to stop using the Euro?

They never started using the Euro! Instead, the UK uses the “pound sterling,” which sounds vaguely dirty. As in, “I hope I get to pound some sterling tonight!”

Gross. Why is the UK’s currency called the “pound”?

It used to refer to a pound of silver. As in, “Oy, Aelfric, I will trade you a pound of silver for that ox.”

But today, one pound of silver is actually worth about 200 British pounds. So…inflation, I guess. The moral is, don’t put your money in the pound sterling. Put it in silver and bury it in your yard.

Can you explain why some Brits want to leave the EU, and some want to stay?

Not really, no. The BBC has what we presume is a relatively accurate summary. We were just going to copy and paste the whole thing, but then we thought, “You know, on second thought, let’s throw the BBC a bone and send some of our readers their way.”

Given my political views, if I were British, would I be in favor of Brexit?

You’d probably be too drunk to have an opinion on it. But generally speaking, it seems the left is opposed to Brexit, and the right is divided on it. So, you might say that Brexit is the Donald Trump of UK politics.

Is this a good place to plug your amazing Trump-scented candle, whose label cleverly mocks Trump, and a portion of the proceeds of which go to charities helping Syrian refugees?

Why…yes! Yes it is! Thank you for asking.

Why did the UK pick June 23 for the big Brexit vote?

Great question! Is it because June 23rd is the 484th anniversary of Henry VIII and Francis I of France signing a secret treaty against the Holy Roman Empire? Only British Prime Minister David Cameron knows for sure.

What does David Cameron think of Brexit?

Well, in theory, he is opposed to it. But on the other hand, he has described Brexit as “the gamble of the century.” Which, let’s face it, sounds like copy from a casino billboard. “Jackpots ahead! Loosest slots! The gamble of the century!” I mean, maybe the British people want to take the gamble of the century. Who Dares, Wins, right?

Would Brexit result in a war between the UK and the EU?

Maybe! There’s only one way to find out!

If the UK leaves the EU and it hurts the UK’s economy, will I finally be able to afford to live in London?

Ha! No. Well, unless Brexit does result in a war between the EU and the UK, and London gets reduced to rubble. So, fingers crossed, I guess.