While the rest of the UK is forced into deciding which Etonian to be lied to, residents of Queen Victoria’s ‘favourite place to die’ are somewhat out of-the-loop. Unaware of their EU membership, many islanders were still under the impression that we were fighting Napoleon, seeking reparations from the Romans and still using Betamax.
The island has historically had an isolationist stance – becoming the largest UK producer of garlic due to fear of and confusion between Papists and vampires. Subsequently Britain’s membership of the Common Market had largely gone unnoticed, with the increase in continental accents dismissed as ‘visitors from Gosport’. In fact, some older residents are still reeling from the shock that Scotland had joined the Union and was not just a ginger folk-story to scare children with.
One islander defended their ignorance: ‘Sea levels around the Island annually rise by 6mm; so technically each year we are a little less European…and slightly more aquatic’. Over a third of the Island has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the rest is landfill. ‘It’s a bit upsetting to realise I may be out of something before I was barely in. I feel like one of Katy Price’s husbands’. A Home Office spokeswoman commented: ‘We haven't the heart to tell them that the rest of the UK ceded from the Isle Wight in 1992. Ironically the EU does recognise them but only as unclaimed maritime salvage.’