Brexit Catastrophisation Watch, Part 6 – Stay In The EU Or Kittens Will Die


Hysterical Remainiacs are now warning that Brexit will endanger the lives of the nation’s pets and farm animals

For the past four months, the British people have been subjected to some ridiculously childish hissy fits and the incessant catastrophisation of Brexit by self-regarding EU apologists in the media. But this latest tantrum by Ian Dunt, editor of, is on another level.

Ian Dunt already has great form in portraying the slightest move to limit the growth of the state or safeguard national sovereignty as being part of a plot by the Evil Tor-ees to kill the poor and chuck out every last foreigner, but his increasingly bitter and alarmist Brexit coverage is starting to make him look particularly ridiculous. Because Dunt is now claiming that among the many other evils of Brexit, spurning the EU and demanding self-government will also put “people and animals at risk”.

Yes. Going ahead with Brexit means that kittens will die.

Dunt explains:

Look at any part of British society and you’ll see the damage Brexit is doing.

Take veterinary services. Yesterday afternoon, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) wrote a letter to the prime minister. These are not radical organisations. They never really put out political statements of this sort. They stay in the background, concerning themselves mostly with relatively dry questions of policy detail. But they’ve been forced to issue a warning that Brexit – and Theresa May’s descent into anti-foreigner rhetoric – are putting people and animals at risk.

“Anti-foreigner”? Really? One can argue endlessly about the economic merits of Theresa May’s seeming determination to reduce net migration, but I challenge Ian Dunt to produce one example where the prime minister has actively sought to whip up anti-foreigner feeling in the population.

Wanting controls on immigration is not an extremist or unpalatable political viewpoint – many countries in the world (like Australia and the United States) don’t automatically accept anybody from their region or continent who wants to live and work. And at some point the British Left are going to have to take their collective finger off the nuclear button and stop screeching “racism” at anybody who dares to suggest that government should have control of who is allowed to come and settle in the country.

Regardless, Dunt continues:

Around half the veterinary surgeons registering to practise in the UK each year are from overseas – mostly the EU. Europeans are particularly prevalent in public health roles like the Government Veterinary Services. In the meat hygiene sector, some estimates put the number of veterinary surgeons who graduate overseas at 95%. And these people – the people who look after our pets, who check our food – are feeling increasingly uncomfortable in this country.

And this supposedly matters because:

The veterinary profession doesn’t just look after pets. It monitors and controls the spread of disease and assures the quality of the food we eat. If it goes into decline, the animals we love and share our homes with are in more danger. But there is also a very significant public health risk to go alongside the emotional one.

[..] while anti-immigrant newspapers and politicians whinged, immigrants were there: Treating your cat. Picking your fruit. Treating your condition. They are crucial to the running of this country and unless we start recognising that, it’ll be this country which suffers the consequences of their absence.

[..] The policy implications of Brexit are even more serious. In the future, the two organisations warn, “changes to the mutual recognition system or immigration restrictions could have a profound impact upon the veterinary workforce”. That means Britain may face a shortage of vets as it loses half its annual intake. It means a potentially catastrophic impact on TB testing and meat hygiene. It means abattoirs may be unable to export their products because the UK veterinary requirements are not recognised by European authorities.

So in other words, wanting to leave a deeply unpopular and dysfunctional continental supranational government is so terrible that it will kill our pets, causing us immense emotional harm, and also ensure that agricultural and food safety standards immediately fall off a cliff, leading to the immediate return of BSE and foot and mouth disease. Our democracy is hostage to the presumed fortunes of our household pets.

See? We warned you! Why didn’t you listen! Now Fluffy the Kitten is going to die, and it’s all your fault, you ignorant, hateful, xenophobic Brexiteer!

Will these histrionics from bitter, intellectually bankrupt Remainers never end?

The one valid point in this screaming tantrum of an article is that changes to (or severance of) the mutual recognition agreements governing veterinary standards or food safety – much of the latter of which actually falls under the purview of Codex Alimentarius – could cause real disruptions to trade. Too much of the political debate over Brexit has focused on buccaneering assumptions by government ministers and journalists that the avoidance of tariffs is the sole issue, when this is not at all true. The potential erection of non-tariff trade barriers by failing to extend mutual recognition of standards would have immensely more impact on British industry in terms of cost and complexity of doing business, and it is this which politicians need to wrap their heads around.

Dunt (inadvertently) raises an important issue here, and a timely warning. But his incessant, hysterical scaremongering (and pretence that there are no solutions or workarounds to the practical issue he flags) overshadows his argument. This is the polar opposite of constructive criticism – it is the kind of sulky fault-picking more worthy of a toddler than a grown man with a political website.

And yet I am coming to suspect that this is how it will always be. Never expecting victory in the EU referendum, I naturally didn’t devote much time to thinking about what it would actually feel like to be on the winning side, to finally overturn the 40-year pro-EU consensus. Now I’m starting to get an idea. And it is not pleasant.

Brexiteers had better get used to endless “won’t somebody please think of the kittens?!” caterwauling from aggrieved pro-Europeans, because it will probably last the rest of our lives. Even if Brexit ushers in the kind of democratic renewal that some of us hoped for – and even if we achieve secession from the EU on the most favourable terms possible – they will still criticise us and act as though we have ushered in an unprecedented calamity. And in the absence of counterfactuals, who can disprove Ian Dunt when in five years he whines that we would be enjoying hover cars and 200 year lifespans if only we had done the sensible thing, listened to him and voted to remain in the EU?

Brexiteers should settle in for the long haul. Yesterday it was Marmite, today it’s kittens and tomorrow it will be something else. And why? All because Ian Dunt and other pro-European can’t just bring themselves to say “I hate patriotism, I’m ashamed of my country, I feel more European than British and more than anything I hate the 52 percent of my fellow citizens for  defying my will and causing me not to get my own way for once in my life”?

Maybe therapy would help some of the Remainiacs-in-denial towards a necessary moment of catharsis. One can only hope so. Their endless hysterics and catastrophisation of Brexit makes them look far more stupid than it makes Brexit seem reckless.

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Top Image: Nanto, Pixabay

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