Post March 29th, 2019 the British public will be able to ring 9999 if they have a Brexit-related emergency. This could be anything from a passport that hasn’t turned blue, to a stubborn Greek neighbour who refuses to leave the newly unshackled United Kingdom and continues to cook meats smokily outdoors.
Government departments are already recruiting special call centre staff who will use the words ‘Brexit Emergency Hotline, Howard would you like to take back control?’ The minister for Brexit emergency Howard Smythe said ‘We expect to employ hundreds if not thousands of round the clock response responders, 24 hours a day, 7/11 demonstrating that Brexit will create employment from the start.’
Explaining the choice of number, Mr Smythe explained ‘We wanted a number that would reflect the potential urgency of the situation. It could be a lorry driver with a urination emergency, stuck hours from the nearest comfort station as he or she waits for paperwork delayed by foreign powers to be checked. Or a lone British woman on a bus, suspecting a fellow passenger of being secretly continental. Just to demonstrate the sheer creativity we have to draw from, we staged a competition in the civil service to come up with the best possible number for the hotline. We were literally deluged with suggestions, many of them brilliant. These ranged from ‘1’ to ‘08496 328705’. We toyed with ‘99’ but it had inappropriate ice cream connections. Finally we chose 9999 because it has a familiar ring to it, with that extra 9 showing how we went the extra mile in order to take back control.’
It’s understood in tests there have been teething problems, with Brexit emergency victims too slow to dial the fourth 9 and ending up with redundant firefighters or angry police do not cross situations. ‘We’re on top of this,’ said Howard Smythe. ‘In fact people will be able to dial 999 and then any fourth digit to receive assistance. That means 9990, 9991, 9992, 9993, 9994, 9995, 9996, 9997, 9998 or the official number 9999, and nearer the time we urge people to write down all those numbers and keep them somewhere safe.’
Howard Smythe will also be responsible for overseeing the design of the new half-crown, thruppeny bit, tanner, tosheroo, florin, tuppence-ha’penny, nineteen and eleven, and the famous ten-bob-a-job note, once de-metrification of British currency kicks in on April 14th this year. Rods, poles and perches are also under review.