Although it seems like we've been talking about this for years now, we've actually only just managed to get through our first real year of Brexit - and what a wild ride it has been.

Not everything that was predicted in project fear came to pass but in many ways, it might as well have.

We've seen food and fuel shortages thanks to there not being enough drivers to deliver the goods. You'll have also noticed the price of your weekly shop increase significantly and there we would have probably seen a lot more uproar about travelling abroad if it wasn't for the pandemic.

So, has it been a success or a disaster? It's hard to say, but what we can confirm is there has been a lot of facepalming and enough cringe to make you hide behind the sofa.

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As we know mark exactly 12 months outside the EU here are 31 Brexit moments from the past year that left us feeling more than a bit embarrassed or laughed at in gallows humour.

Brexiteers in Spain can't watch their favourite British shows

The year started as it meant to go on - with Brexiteers suddenly realising the magnitude of what they voted for. The first major instance was of Leave voters living in Spain who soon found out that they couldn't watch their favourite British TV show, Only Fools and Horses, anymore.

Brexit voting Sam Allardyce discovers it is a lot harder to sign footballers outside of the EU

When Sam Allardyce was West Bromwich Albion manager the UK was still finding its feet outside of the EU. Allardyce, who had admitted in the press several times that he voted to leave the EU learnt that signing footballers for his team from Europe had just become doubly hard due to the extra paperwork needed for players coming from clubs in the EU. At the time 'Big Sam' said: "I have found three players already who were capable of coming here and they're not allowed. It's a shame. Due to the new regulations in terms of the permit, they were unable to come to this country, whereas (previously) they would have done. I have to look at that and think 'can he qualify?"

Brexiteer Roger Daltrey complains about The Who needing a visa to tour Europe

In a similar vein to Allardyce, Roger Daltrey, the lead singer of the legendary UK rock group The Who, complained that the UK’s trade deal with the EU was failing UK musicians. He was one of the 110 signatories of a letter to the government that accused the government of “shamefully failing” live performers. The irony of all this? Daltrey voted to leave the EU.

Scots in EU unable to buy Haggis for Burns Night

The Scottish tradition of eating Haggis on Burns Night was ruined for many in 2021 as post-Brexit regulations prevented many Scots living in Europe from getting their Haggises in on time for the festivities on 25th January - unless they were really determined. Once again, the irony here is that Scotland voted to stay in the EU.

Pro-Brexit fishing campaigners find out that they've got no fish

June Mummery, a former Brexit Party MEP who campaigned for 'Fishing for Leave' believed that leaving the EU would be beneficial for UK fisheries. Yet in an interview from January she soon discovered that the grass wasn't greener on the other side of the water. "As fishing goes, and if we want to hang on to the industry we have, because five years is a long time when you have nothing. We're on our knees. We've waited 40 years and quite frankly a lot of people will pack up, including myself. I've got no fish."

Tory MP claims 'British wind' will be used to power UK homes

There's nothing that some people like more than claiming that the elements and weather actually have national identities. Take for instance Tory minister Paul Scully who in while talking about renewable energy in March claimed: This is the start of building back greener. This is the start of 6,000 jobs in the UK, using British jobs, British manufacturing, and of course British wind to power UK homes with renewable energy by 2030.”

Boris Johnson called out by Papa Roach

One of the most unlikely anti-Brexit protests came from nu-metal icons Papa Roach - you know the band that sang 'Last Resort.' They were unhappy about their fans being unable to get their hands on vinyl copies of their new record which had been stuck in UK customs for months. So like most people they called out Boris Johnson and Priti Patel on the issue.

The Festival of Brexit

We're still not entirely sure if this is a real thing or some sort of elaborate prank but a 'Festival of Brexit' is supposed to be going ahead at some point next year and is apparently set to feature a 'physical manifestation of British weather' which sounds absolutely thrilling...To make matters worse its not even going to be called 'Festival of Brexit' anymore. It's something called 'Unboxed.' Another consequence of Brexit then...

Museum of Brexit

If the Festival of Brexit sounds a bit too raucous for you, maybe you could try The Museum of Brexit instead? Its not been confirmed where the museum will actually be or when it will open but when it does open its doors you can look forward to seeing important historical items such as imperial weighing scales and a fishing net used in UK waters on the first day out of the EU. Maybe that festival does sound better...

Northern Ireland debacle

In distressing scenes, not witnessed since the 1990s, violence returned to the streets of Northern Ireland as a dispute erupted over a proposed Protocol that would have placed a de facto border in the Irish sea and enforced checks on goods being imported into Northern Ireland and Britain. Few people would argue that this wasn’t anything to do with Brexit, except well Brexiteers...

Almost going to war with France

It seems bonkers to think now but back in May there was a very real concern that the UK could end up in a military conflict with France all because of post-Brexit fishing restrictions that stopped French boats from operating in the waters surrounding Jersey. French fisherman staged a protest blocking the main St Helier port. Things were so tense that a member of the Jersey Militia reenactment group fired a musket blank at the boats which might possibly be the most Brexit thing that we’ve ever seen.

Wetherspoons boss calls for more EU workers in the UK

Tim ‘Wetherspoons’ Martin was one of the most vocal proponents of Brexit but less than a year outside, with pubs and restaurants struggling due to the pandemic the Spoons founder, began to call for migration laws into the UK to be loosened for EU workers to tackle the staff shortages. careful what you wish for.

The government advertised for a job in the Brexit Opportunities Unit

In a good example of ‘think before you name something’ the government decided to open up a department called the ‘Brexit Opportunities Unit.’ We’re not to say what opportunities were available to everyone in the UK outside of the EU but five years after the referendum it’s probably not a good idea to ask people to try and find what the benefits are.

'Brexit hardman' Steve Baker calls leaving the EU a 'fiasco'

Tory MP, former deputy chairman of the European Research Group and the so-called ‘hard man of Brexit’ tried to take a jab at Labour leader Keir Starmer in August over his net-zero policy. However, Baker ended up with egg on his face by adding: “Politicians need to level with the public about the scale of change needed in our lives so we don’t have another political fiasco like Brexit.”

Lorry driver shortage leads to empty supermarket shelves

We were told that everything was going to be fine and that supermarket shelves would remain as full and as replenished as ever. But come August, many shops and restaurants were struggling to meet demands as Post-Brexit immigration rules meant that many EU workers were now staying away from the UK. This includes some 14,000 HGV drivers who surprise, surprise, delivered many of the goods that British shops sold. Of course, Covid didn’t help either but you know things are bad when Nando’s have run out of chicken.

Dutch union boss says EU workers will not ‘help UK out of the s**t they created’

Possibly one of the most famous moments to come out of the HGV driver shortage was this explicit condemnation from a Dutch trade union boss. On the 27th September edition of Radio 4’s Today Programme Edwin Atema bluntly said: “The EU workers we speak to will not go to the UK for a short term visa to help UK out of the s**t they created themselves!” His rant predictably went viral.

Kate Hoey suggests Northern Ireland was 'sacrificed'

Back to the Northern Ireland issue and here is former Labour MP Kate Hoey suggesting on GB News that NI was ‘sacrificed’ just so Brexit could happen and that the unrest seen on the streets of Derry was a consequence that many leavers already knew was going to happen.

Manchester market trader's sums up the Brexit disaster

If you really want to see how much Brexit has impacted people’s lives it’s best to hear it straight from the people who have to deal with it on a daily basis. One particular moment that struck home last year was Mariella Gabutt, a wholesale market worker in Manchester who went viral after appearing on BBC News and basically laying out just how much Brexit has cost her business.

Grant Shapps claims Brexit has 'solved' lorry driver shortage not made it worse

As we’ve mentioned, the lack of HGV drivers took was one of the most evident consequences of Brexit. Things didn’t get much better when the transport secretary Grant Shapps claimed that the shortages weren’t anything to do with exiting the EU and that Brexit had actually helped the situation as it had made it easier to process more driving tests.

Iain Duncan Smith says Brexit isn't to blame for fuel shortage

In more denial of Brexit not being to blame for anything, the September petrol crisis, which saw members of the public queuing for hours at petrol stations just to fill up their cars, was apparently nothing to do with a lack of HGV drivers being able to deliver the fuel. Former Tory leader and staunch Brexiteer Sir Iain Duncan Smith said that ‘brainless bureaucracy’ and Covid was actually were the actual culprits.

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah eviscerates Brexit

You know Brexit was getting bad when America is dunking on Britain. Trevor Noah, the host of the long-running satirical programme The Daily Show, went viral in October after summing up the shambles that is Brexit in just a few seconds by pointing out that people voted to leave because they were “sick of the ‘dirty foreigners’ coming in and taking their jobs and now there’s a fuel crisis - partly because ‘dirty foreigners’ are the ones driving all the dirty gasoline trucks.”

Brexiteer makes anti-Brexit comments on Question Time

You know that things are really starting to crack when people who actually voted for Brexit were appearing on Question Time to criticise the entire debacle and were so critical that host, Fiona Bruce was shocked to discover that the man in question, actually voted to leave.

Pig farmer who voted to leave says she voted for people to be 'more patriotic'

Everyone had different reasons for voting to leave the EU. Some were political and some were personal. One that we must admit we hadn’t heard of before was a pig farmer from East Yorkshire who told Women’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 that she voted for Brexit for “people to be more patriotic.”

New Zealand report likens Brexit deal to 'sacrificial lambs'

The post-Brexit trade deal struck with New Zealand wasn’t so warmly received in the UK as it removed removing tariffs on UK goods being exported to New Zealand. News of the deal was so negative in fact that one Kiwi broadcaster likened British farmers to ‘sacrificial lambs.’

French politician calls Brexit an 'economic disaster'

The last thing we needed was another EU official hammering home why they thought leaving the EU was a mistake but the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton wanted to make his feeling known on the issue too. In October he said: “Look at what’s going on with store shelves ... with the restocking of fuel ... with the lack of nurses and doctors ... with the truck driver shortage [and] with everything construction. What’s going on these days is a disaster. What is currently happening is a real drama. Consider that after they said they could regain prosperity, which meant to some extent that every EU national would be kicked out — at least a large part of them — well now they need to come back because nurses are missing. There’s 100,000 truck drivers missing ... It is what it is and we deplore it.”

Impact of Brexit forecast to be 'worst than Covid'

It’s a toss-up in the UK as to which has been the most divisive issue in the UK for the past two years but it is clear which has had the worst impact. According to Richard Hughes of the Office for Budget Responsibility, the toll taken on the UK’s GDP by Covid has been 2 per cent but when you add in leaving the EU that results in a further 2 per cent decline for the GDP which isn’t exactly great news, especially when one was self-inflicted and the other wasn’t.

Dominic Raab somehow shoehorns in Brexit to defend Boris Johnson on sleaze

Beyond the various accusations of hosting parties in 10 Downing Street during lockdown, the biggest scandal the Tory government landed themselves in was trying to bury the Owen Paterson sleaze scandal. Attempting to clear up the controversy, Dominic Raab (who was ofter thrown to the wolves on many occasions last year) tried to defend Boris Johnson by bizarrely saying he had total faith in the prime minister because of how he handled Brexit. OK then...

No one applies to a post-Brexit visa scheme for academics

Along with not having any HGV drivers or petrol, the UK was short of academics. In May the government launched a scheme to fast track Nobel laureates and other prize winners in science, engineering, humanities and medicine. Six months later the grand total of people who applied for this was zero.

Sky News reader calls post-Brexit Britain 'apocalyptic'

Gee...there really isn’t much to be hopeful for on this list is there? Maybe we can rely on a good honest news reader to brighten things up for us. Well, Ian King, of Sky News didn’t quite manage to do that when he went viral in September when he called post-Brexit Britain ‘apocalyptic.’

Mark Francois wrote a self-published Brexit memoir called ‘Spartan Victory’

Tory MP, Mark Francois, a man who is so Brexit he probably can’t look up at the night sky for fear of seeing too more than 27 stars, released a book in December called ‘Spartan Victory: The Inside Story of the Battle for Brexit.’ We’re not sure why it was called this, as afterall the Spartans did lose but it was self-published because according to Francois “it was fairly evident after a while that no publisher wanted to publish.

Liz Truss becomes Brexit negotiator

Following Lord Frost’s resignation as Brexit minister in late December the baton was unpredictably handed to the foreign secretary Liz Truss, who had campaigned for Remain during the 2016 EU referendum and was once a Lib Dem. Just a few weeks into the job and she’s already been accused of using Article 16 to try and bolster her position with Brexiteers in case of a future leadership contest.

Well, we got through the first real year of Brexit. Let’s hope things have improved by this time next year.

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