At 6.30am this morning there was a rap on my caravan door. It was one of my many spies. He had an official-looking envelope. Eagerly we steamed it open.
What a coup! We had the very letter that Mrs Theresa May, our Prime Minister, signed yesterday for delivery by Sir Tim Barrow, the British Ambassador to the EU, to Mr Donald Tusk, the European Council president, at 12.30pm today. This was the letter invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the article that says how a country should give formal notice of its withdrawal from the European Union. The letter was that formal notice.
Quickly taking a copy, I handed it back so that it could be returned to the diplomat entrusted with its safe delivery into Mr Tusk's hands. I re-read the letter over breakfast. It was a strange missive, all said. It wasn't quite in the ordinary way of such letters. I had doubts as to whether it would really strike the right note. Well, let it speak for itself.
Dear Mr Tusk
It is with no regret at all that I tell you, on behalf of Her Britannic Majesty, that we are off. Expect to hear a very loud hoot from Dover Harbour at 2.00pm precisely. This will signify that the Island Nation of Great Britain is casting off, and will sail south westwards into the Atlantic. Once more Britannia will rule the waves, as you will see. This plan of action has been forced on us. Clearly the European Union will be extracting a stiff exit tax. We must raise the money somehow. So, for a while, we will resort to piracy on the High Seas - although we ourselves assert that this will be simply licensed privateering in the highest traditions of Sir Francis Drake and similar swashbuckling heroes.
Great Britain's destination and base of operations during this period will be kept a secret. But it will be somewhere with a romantic name and reputation, like Port Royal or Tortuga. We will leap out and pounce on passing galleons, taking possession of treasure ships and generally having a jolly good time until we have enough cash - or the rum runs out.
Naturally, during this money-raising period, we will temporarily put away the Union Jack and fly the Skull and Crossbones instead. It is only right that, in proper deference to International Law, we assume an alternative and unmistakable flag of convenience that all will recognise.
It is of course perfectly possible that what is intended at the moment to be only a temporary measure, may become a permanent way of life. Let events unfold. Come what may, we will always act in the best interests of the British People - and for all the British people. I have my trusty crew, gunpowder, cutlasses, and maps showing the position of buried treasure. I am absolutely confident of success.
Naturally the interests of European Union citizens presently living in Great Britain will be protected. We in Great Britain respect the Pirates' Code, which of course must never be broken. So no European Citizen who happens to be board will be stripped of their silks, jewels and doubloons, and forced to walk the plank. They will be well-treated and regarded as national assets. We utterly deplore the term 'valuable hostages', but we will of course consider exchanging some of them for preferential economic advantages, properly and rapidly negotiated. Indeed, we anticipate that you will ask for Parlay within the next few days.
So, the good ship Great Britain - how that harks back to the pioneering days of Brunel! - will criss-cross the Seven Seas in search of pillage and plunder! How thrilling! This is much more than I expected from voting for Brexit last year.
I wonder if it will become the fashion to wear a sword and cocked hat? (But I draw the line at having a parrot on my shoulder)