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This deal is enough to make an eel squeal | Stewart Lee

With no wriggle room left at the inn for our slippery friends, Christmas Eve won’t be the same again

An eel farmer in Gloucestershire who exports eels to continental Europe, and who voted for Brexit, may lose his business because of eel paperwork incurred by the red-tape-removing Brexit he voted for. One can only pity him, and his eels. The time for filthy Remainer schadenfreude has passed. But regular readers will remember that I was among many in the liberal commentariat ridiculed for flagging up the post-Brexit fate of eels. Indeed, to highlight the issue in the spring of 2016, I and Bob Geldof swam the full length of the Severn estuary dressed as eels, while Nigel Farage bombarded us with scoops of mash from an amphibious vehicle. Our gesture was, predictably, dismissed as part of “Project Fear” by Dan Hananananan in the Daily Telegraph, and yet our projected fears have come true. Before the eel farmer voted, he should have sought eel advice from a source better equipped than him to understand the eel issues. An eel perhaps. Brexit! It’s like eels voting for some kind of religious festival where everyone eats eels.

Why did the bleary-faced Brexit gangmaster Michael Gove have such contempt for eels and their future outside the single market? Is it revenge, because his telescopic eyes, beak-like rostrum and aquatic pallor make him look like an out-of-focus underwater photograph of an eel? Old school friends at Robert Gordon’s college say that, for the otherwise icy Gove, being mocked in the showers for his resemblance to the tasty fish was his achilles eel. It is even rumoured on the dark web that Gove himself was once mistaken for an eel by his co-Brexiter Mark Francois while frolicking in a culvert, leading to a shameful incident involving a scoop of mash and some liquor that it took all of his wife Sarah Vine’s press connections to conceal.

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