Brexit talks have officially begun, so leaders in London, Brussels, and beyond will have their work cut out for them. All eyes will be on British prime minister Theresa May in particular, as she tries to negotiate an amicable divorce from the EU within the two-year timeframe set out by the bloc’s rules.
Sources in Whitehall gave Quartz an exclusive peek at the prime minister’s personal schedule.* Needless to say, she plans on being very busy between now and March 2019.
March 29, 2017
- AM: Trigger Article 50.
- PM: Nando’s.
March 30, 2017
March 31, 2017
- EU’s official response to Article 50 is due. (Check ink levels on fax machine.)
- Easter: Revive one of David Cameron’s better ideas—adorable lamb-feeding photoshoot.
- St George’s Day: Slip in miscellaneous patriotic references during Prime Minister’s Questions. Brussels=dragon?
- Subtweet EU summit on Brexit.
- Buy presents for victor of French presidential election: Tony Blair’s My Journey for Macron; English sparkling wine if it’s Le Pen; very, very dry roast beef for Fillon.
- Eurovision watching party at Windsor Castle.
- Brexit means breakfast. Buy Marmite in bulk to get ahead of price hikes.
- King of Spain’s state visit. Practice key phrase: “Mi casa es su casa, pero no se quede por mucho tiempo.”
- G20 summit: Learn how to say “Culturally, Britain is closer to China than it is to Europe” in Mandarin, say it to Xi Jinping, and ask him for a state visit. But don’t get too cocky—focus on trade talks with countries 15-20 first. Get selfie with Trudeau.
- Time for “hip-hoplomacy”: Skepta is playing the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, and if rumors of Drake appearance are true, can ask him about a free-trade deal with Canada. Bond by showing him the selfie.
- After German federal election, send Merkel a note with congratulations/commiserations [delete as necessary].
- Schedule emergency meeting with Queen ahead of Trump state visit.
- Get rid of old pound coins. Exchange for dollars?
- Trump state visit postponement planning.
- St. Andrew’s Day: Set out-of-office message for all internal correspondence from “Sturgeon, Nicola.”
- Probably an Italian election sometime around now.
- Take back control… of No. 10’s thermostat. Such a drafty old place!
- “Me” time.
- Winter Olympics in South Korea—good opportunity to talk trade. Emphasise post-Brexit Britain’s accommodating attitude towards exploding electronics. (And will Xi Jinping be there? If so, learn how to say “state visit” in Mandarin.)
- Visit set of Downton Abbey film. Location apparently top secret—ask MI5 for address.
- Halfway point of two-year Brexit negotiation timeline. Exchange pounds for euros, just in case.
- Read Getting to Yes.
- Given the rising rates environment, rotate out of high-grade credit into high-beta equities. Consider 5s10s EUR swap curve steepener. Close 20-strike puts in Snap Inc shares. Buy rubles. Or gold. Probably gold.
- Push back Trump state visit.
- Consider getting a dog? Tell staff to research breeds according to these traits (in order): British, tenacious, cuddly.
- World Cup begins. Schedule meetings during group stages only because, you know, England. (China is really bad at football, right? Check if Xi Jinping going anyway.)
- Spend a day at the England-India cricket match—our likely loss will put Indian trade reps in a good mood. Together, we can hit tariffs and non-tariff barriers for six!
- Pope’s visit to Northern Ireland: See if he has any ideas for what to do about the border.
- Burning Man.
- Brief producers of “Great British Bake Off” finale on patriotic cake and pastry themes. Emphasise importance of scone in national identity, etc.
- Get tabloids to print recipe for “Brexit Bakewell tart,” featuring innovative British jam.
- Unofficial deadline to wrap up deal so various parliaments can vote on it by two-year deadline.
- Buy yen. And more gold.
- Check on status of state visit to Beijing. Some ancient Chinese ceramics from the British Museum might help sweeten the deal.
- Delay Trump (or maybe Pence?) state visit.
- Winter mini-break: Check currency market before deciding on Swiss Alps v. Sussex.
- Probably another Italian election sometime around now.
- Final (?) booze cruise to Calais for duty-free champagne.
- Ask Sergio, that barista at Pret, whether he knows anyone at the Spanish trade delegation.
March 28, 2019
- Settle final EU exit bill (don’t settle for a cent over €60 billion), establish rights of EU citizens in UK and Brits in EU, agree on a “new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious” free trade agreement, establish new customs and immigration systems, reinterpret 80,000 pages of EU rules into British law (including touchy regulations for the pharma and nuclear industries), maintain shared intelligence and security arrangements, stop Scotland from leaving, stop Northern Ireland from imploding, stop Spain from meddling with Gibraltar, find local sources to replace EU arts, agricultural, and research funds, avoid disruption to aviation agreements for British airlines, and divvy up fishing rights.
March 29, 2019
- Brexit day! 👋
March 30, 2019
* They didn’t, really. With additional sleuthing by Kabir Chibber, Nikhil Sonnad, and Cassie Werber.