Recipe teaser

E&M‘s Frances Jackson cooks up a storm in the kitchen as she takes a satirical look at the prospect of a UK referendum on EU membership.

cooking utensils
Here’s how to bring some chaos to the political kitchen… | Photo: Alfonso Pierantonio (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re after an easy way to bring a little political instability to both your country and continent, we’ve got just the ticket, so get your aprons at the ready!


  • two temperate islands of unequal size
  • an aging population (citizens only)
  • two major crises, one refugee-based, the other financial
  • the promise of a referendum
  • a handful of half-truths
  • natural Eurosceptics with a parliamentary majority
  • uncertainty as to the future viability of the European project
  • incendiary language and scaremongering (to taste)


Prepare your islands; score the larger of the two with a sharp knife to create three distinct sections (make sure the topmost cut goes quite deep, almost cutting the political ties to the remainder of the island, but leaving most of the cultural and social ties intact). Slice off the top right-hand corner of the smaller island and discard the rest.

Separate the population into citizens and non-citizens (reserve the migrants who have yet to apply for citizenship to use in heated discussions about overcrowding and benefit tourism later). You can use citizens living abroad too, but avoid any that have been out of the country for more than 15 years (check the best before date to be sure).

Combine your islands, then add the citizens from the population and both major crises. Throw in the promise of a referendum (there’s no need to be too exact here with your dates) and a generous handful of half-truths, plus all of the natural Eurospectics. Sprinkle over a little general uncertainty as to the future viability of the European project and season to taste with incendiary language and scaremongering from both the pro- and anti-EU camps.

Bring everything to boiling point, then reduce the heat and allow tensions to simmer until most of the serious debate has evaporated.  If cooking on an open fire, you may like to fan the flames from time to time with a little talk of excessive red tape and bendy bananas. When everything is ready, check the seasoning, adding a touch more incendiary language or scaremongering if you feel it lacks a kick, and then simply hope for the best.

Bon appétit!

Teaser photo: sling@flickr (Flickr); Licence: CC BY 2.0

  • retro

    Frances Jackson was an editor at E&M and occasional contributor. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Munich, where she is pursuing a PhD in Czech poetry. Given the chance, Frances would probably spend all of her time in kitchen and is currently cooking her way around the world. She has also been known to dabble in literary translation.

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