A translated article calling Britain the laughing stock of Europe has gone viral on Facebook

Harriet Marsden@harriet1marsden
Wednesday 21 June 2017 09:30
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Picture:( Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Negotiations on Britain's departure from the European Union have finally begun, and we're living in a very different country to the one which went to the polls on 23 June 2016.

Prime Minister Theresa May has lost her majority in the Commons after a disastrously damaging election campaign; her team are still yet to secure a deal with the DUP, and there seems to be no consensus in the government over what kind of Brexit we even want.

Meanwhile in the EU, member states seem united in their despair and disdain over Britain's mis-steps. We don't tend to process much of the European press coverage of Brexit, but when it does make it across the pond (such as Jean Quatremer's excellent article in The Guardian) it tends to be biting.

One article in particular, by Christian Zasche for Southern German broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung, has been expertly translated by freelancer Paula Kirby - and it's gone viral in the UK remarkably quickly.

Her introduction is so on point:

This article in a Swiss newspaper today is so ruthlessly clear-sighted in its assessment of just how screwed we are that I just had to translate it for the non-German speakers.

Hold on to your hats:

Here's just a few highlights from the barrage of horror:

The country is being governed by a talking robot, nicknamed the Maybot, that somehow managed to visit the burned-out tower block in the west of London without speaking to a single survivor or voluntary helper.

The government is dependent on a small party that provides a cozy home for climate change deniers and creationists. Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary. What in the world has happened to this country?

The ones who will suffer most will be the British people, who were lied to by the Brexit campaign during the referendum and betrayed and treated like idiots by elements of their press.

And finally, the damning close:

After the loss of its empire, the United Kingdom sought a new place in the world. It finally found it, as a strong, awkward and influential part of a larger union: the EU. Now it has given up this place quite needlessly.

The consequence, as is now becoming clear, is a veritable identity crisis from which it will take the country a very long time to recover.

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