The Brexit Tapes

By John Bull

A satirical glimpse behind the curtain as the Government tries, and fails, to deliver Brexit.

Humour | Politics
150% funded
795 supporters
Writing in progress

Publication date: TBC

Support this project
The crowd has spoken – The Brexit Tapes is happening. Pre-order your reward now.
$15 
58 pledges

Digital

A digital copy of the book, plus your name in the list of supporters at the back of the book.
Choose this reward
$25  + shipping
259 pledges

Hardback

A copy of the first edition hardback, plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
$35  + shipping
220 pledges

Signed Hardback

A SIGNED copy of the first edition hardback, plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
$45  + shipping
18 pledges

Two Copies

Two copies of the first edition hardback plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
$45  + shipping
109 pledges

Ministers and Monsters - Digital

EXCLUSIVE! A pen-and-paper RPG (role-playing game) written especially for The Brexit Tapes by John Bull. Take on the role of cabinet ministers under the guidance of your PM (Play Master) You will receive a PDF version of the quick-start rules, a simple four-page document telling you all you need to play and run a game of MINISTERS & MONSTERS. This level also includes a SIGNED copy of the hardback book, plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
$45  + shipping
29 pledges

M'Greh Duck and GoveThulhu Pin Badges

Place upon your label or fabric of choice the venerable symbol of the M'Greh Duck and beside it, show your support for the Eldritch Candidate, GoveThulhu with these two beautiful, exclusive and custom-made enamel pin badges (approx. 25mm diameter, subject to change). Plus a SIGNED copy of The Brexit Tapes!
Choose this reward
$50  + shipping

SPECIAL BREXIT OFFER

*KLAXONS!* Here ye, here ye, behold a SPECIAL OFFER for the Day Formerly Known as Brexit Day, March 29th. A copy of the HARDBACK book priced especially for Brexit! You get one copy of the first edition hardback at the special offer price of £40 instead of the usual, Non-Brexit price of £20!
Choose this reward
$55  + shipping
4 pledges

Send a Copy to Your MP!

That's right. One copy for you, one copy sent your MP as a dire warning for all future votes and elections! The copy to the MP will include a letter from John. Plus you get the ebook.
Choose this reward
$60  + shipping
17 pledges

Two Signed Copies

Two SIGNED copies of the first edition hardback, plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
$60  + shipping
29 pledges

Ministers & Monsters - Print

This level gets you a PRINTED version of the quick-start rules for the exclusive RPG written by John Bull. MINISTERS & MONSTERS is a simple four-page document telling you all you need to play and run a game with friends. This level also includes a SIGNED copy of the hardback book, plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
$65  + shipping
11 pledges

MugThulhu

IÄ! Iä! GoVE FHtaGn! Show your support to GoveThulhu in the 2025 General Election with an exclusive MUG. Plus a SIGNED hardback book, and the ebook
Choose this reward
$90  + shipping
40 pledges

GoveThulhu 2025 Campaign Pack

IÄ! Iä! GoVE FHtaGn! Pledge your support to the Eldritch Candidate in the 2025 General Election and convert your neighbours to the path of the One True Minister. Your GoveThulhu Campaign pack includes all you need to show your fealty and swear blood oath to the be-tentacled horror. Including a SIGNED copy of The Brexit Tapes, an A3 campaign poster, a Bumper Sticker for your car (if you can find fuel in the wasteland), an exclusive MUG with which to toast GoveThulhu's landslide victory, and an important I VOTED sticker to shame and intimidate your friends. Now includes the digital version of MINISTERS & MONSTERS, plus the GoveThulhu and M'Greh Duck enamel pin badges!!
Choose this reward
$100  + shipping
1 pledge

Play Ministers & Monsters with John Bull

Battle Eldritch ninjas! Rescue Ken Clarke! Play in a game of MINISTERS & MONSTERS run by John in London. You will receive a printed version of the game. This level also includes a SIGNED copy of the hardback book, plus the ebook.
Location and date TBC, travel not included.
Only 5 spaces available
Choose this reward
$250  + shipping
4 pledges

Your Name in the Book

Always wanted your name forever associated with Brexit? Of course you do! This is your chance to be seen as an expert. You will also receive TWO SIGNED copies of the hardback - one to keep, one to pass around as proof of your academic prowess - the ebook, and the PDF of Ministers & Monsters. **Limited to 6 only.
Choose this reward
$315  + shipping

Your Opinion in the Book

Your learned opinion on Brexit, the Government, the Deal, the Steam Wishlists of the Cabinet, the rising budget for live mice for Michael Gove, the Kent Lorry Festival - anything you wish (subject to author approval) will appear as a FOOTNOTE on one of the pages of the book. Plus TWO SIGNED copies of the hardback, the PDF of Ministers & Monsters, and the ebook. **Limited to 1 only.
Choose this reward
$440  + shipping

Play Ministers & Monsters - Bring Your Own Group

Battle Eldritch ninjas WITH YOUR FRIENDS! John Bull will run a game of MINISTERS & MONSTERS for you and a group of your friends (up to 5 people) in London. You will receive five printed versions of the game. This level also includes five SIGNED copies of the hardback book, plus the ebook.
Location and date TBC, travel not included. *Limited to 1.
Choose this reward
$625  + shipping

A Whole New World...

An extra song of your choice will be written and added to the "Brexit the Musical" chapter of the book. You get to choose the song to parody and the minister who sings it (subject to author approval). You will also receive THREE SIGNED copies of the hardback, the ebook, your name printed in the special thanks section at the start of the book and a physical, printed copy of Ministers & Monsters. **Limited to 1 only.
Choose this reward
$625  + shipping

How to Tell Stories on Twitter

John Bull will give a talk, lecture or short session (up to three hours) for your class, club or business in London on how to write and thread content on Twitter in a way people enjoy engaging with. This level also includes 5 copies of the SIGNED hardback, your name in the special thanks at the beginning of the book and the ebook.
Choose this reward

Sold out!

$440  + shipping
1 pledge

Britain's Official Brextorian

Be named and credited in THE BREXIT TAPES as the Official Brextorian (Brexit Historian) of 2149 Britain. You will also have a dedicated FOOTNOTE where you can express your opinion (subject to author approval), and your name listed in the front of the book in the special thanks section. This level also gets you THREE SIGNED copies of the hardback book, the ebook, and a physical, printed copy of Ministers & Monsters. **Limited reward. Only 1 available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We deliver to most countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book.

How do supporter names work?

Every person who pledges to help to make a book gets their name included in a supporter section as a thank you. If you want to add a different name, this can be changed in your account after you have completed your pledge.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

In June 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. In July 2018 the Cabinet met at Chequers to work out how to do it. It did not go well.

About The Brexit Tapes

First published in 2149, The Brexit Tapes is a must-read text for all students of Brexit History (‘Brextory’).

Brextorians had long-suspected that then-Prime Minister Theresa May had recorded a number of key Cabinet conversations at the time. It was only with the expiry of the ‘One Hundred and Thirty Year Rule’, however, that the full extent of these recordings became clear. In addition to Cabinet meetings, tapes had been made of private audiences, informal briefings, phone calls, ‘booze cruises’ and even Eldritch Thinkspaces, often in direct contravention of privacy laws at the time. Although the tapes themselves appear to be lost, a number of transcripts survive and are now contained within the National Archives.

Presented without editorial comment, this book provides students with some of the most important of those transcripts. These cover some of the most critical moments in the run up to Brexit itself. This includes May’s infamous use of Steam Wishlists to maintain Cabinet loyalty, the role played by popular folk hero Sir Christopher Grayling in founding the Kent Lorry Festival, and much more.

 

 

The late Baroness May’s seminal four-part The Art of (No) Deal states that Brexit was a ‘strong and stable period, born from the chaotic fires of Ed Miliband’. These transcripts however, provide considerable, and often controversial, evidence that our understanding of this period of British history may require re-evaluation. At the very least, they suggest that this may well not have been the prevailing view at the time. As a senior opposition MP can be heard to utter:

“People don't want a sensible Brexit Keir. They want one with Spitfires that shoot longbows at Frenchmen.”

Just how true this statement was is something this book will help students decide for themselves. If nothing else, the transcripts highlight the role that chance, self-preservation, eldritch horrors and a particularly impressive line drawing of Dobby the House Elf played in shaping the political events of the day.

 

 

About This Edition

In addition to the original text and introduction from Britain’s Official Brextorian, this second edition has been updated to include a number of popular Brexit folksongs from the time.

It also includes the infamous ‘lost transcripts’ unearthed by the Taytay Institute of Socmedia Archeology earlier this year. Salvaged from a previously undiscovered Twitter backup, these cover the negotiation of the Chequers Agreement in 2018, as well as the day of the 2017 General Election.

The Book

  • Small, portable format - 111 x 178mm
  • Hardback, high quality print
  • Black and white printing, with original illustrations.
  • A unique typographical approach to page design.
  • More levels and stretch goals to be announced!

 

*Page and cover designs are for illustrative purposes and are subject to change.

Support this project

Quick select rewards

$25  + shipping
259 pledges

Hardback

A copy of the first edition hardback, plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
$35  + shipping
220 pledges

Signed Hardback

A SIGNED copy of the first edition hardback, plus the ebook.
Choose this reward
  • John Bull avatar

    John Bull

    My name is John Bull and I am a British journalist and historian. Writing for everything from The Guardian to Cult TV Times and The Dark Side, I like to look at how obscure and unexpected moments can change history. This has included explaining how the personal rivalry between Chris Grayling and Sadiq Khan has redefined Britain’s Railways, an award-winning look at how Charles II ruined things for Uber, and writing about how Quincy M.E. still saves thousands of lives around the world every year. Yes, that Quincy. The one from seventies TV.

    In 2018, I decided to combine my love of politics, horror and the strange inter-connectedness of all things into a successful ongoing ‘What-if’ alt-history of Brexit, the complete (and expanded) version of which I’d like to bring you in print.

    Technically this will be my second book, although my first book had a print run of just one. I wrote it for my wife to celebrate our fifth anniversary. No, I’m not telling you what it was about. It was just for her

  • THE BREXIT TAPES

    **Confidential Historical Document. Released to remaining public after expiration of the One-Hundred-and-Thirty-Year Act.**

    Transcript covers 15th — 16th November 2018 and the time of Great Resignation.

    LIDINGTON: First minister’s gone. It’s Shailesh.
    MAY: Who?
    LIDINGTON: Shailesh Vara.
    MAY: David, I was up until 4am pretending to give a shit about Corbyn’s recipe for raspberry jam. My brain is broken. I have not yet had coffee. Who is that?
    LIDINGTON: Damn. I was hoping you knew.

    LIDINGTON: Okay. Shailesh. According to Wikipedia he’s from Cambridgeshire.
    MAY: Hmmm.
    LIDINGTON: Black belt in Tai Kwondo. No scandal section.
    MAY: Nice. You sure he’s one of ours?
    LIDINGTON: ‘Implemented devastating cuts to legal aid.’
    MAY: Oh right. Yeah. Definitely one of ours.

    LIDINGTON: There goes Raab.
    MAY: Dom?! The little fucking traitor.
    LIDINGTON: Yup. Here’s his letter.
    MAY: ‘I Have resigned so I can spend more time with an atlas.’
    LIDINGTON: Yes. That part was a bit weird.

    MAY: Who’s next? Grayling?
    LIDINGTON: Maybe. Although Grayling will…
    MAY: Careful! Remember the curse. Say it three times and he appears.
    LIDINGTON: Sorry. Then Leadsom next I think. Failing that…
    GRAYLING: Hello!
    LIDINGTON: I SAID FAILING!
    GRAYLING: That works too!

    GRAYLING: What are we talking about?
    MAY: Go away Chris.
    GRAYLING: Is it Brexit?
    LIDINGTON: Go away Chris.
    GRAYLING: Esther gave me a letter to give you.
    MAY: Shit.
    GRAYLING: Also are you going to Michael Gove’s pizza party later?
    LIDINGTON: Shit.
    GRAYLING: It’s a secret one! Shhhh!

    LIDINGTON: Suella Bravernann has gone now.
    MAY: Okay, seriously you made that name up.
    LIDINGTON: I didn’t!
    MAY: Who’s next? Willie Dustice?
    LIDINGTON: She’s real! I swear!
    MAY: Sure. Has Dwigt Rortugal gone yet?
    LIDINGTON: Look! She’s on Wikipedia!
    MAY: That’s not a valid source, David.

    <meanwhile, somewhere in London>

    GREGGS LADY: Hello duck! We’ve not seen you in a while!
    ED MILIBAND: I’ve been… away.
    GREGGS LADY: Well it’s nice to see you again. What can I get you?
    MILIBAND: Bacon butty please.
    GREGGS: LADY: You want ketchup in that?
    MILIBAND: Drown it.

    MAY <on phone>: I hear you’re planning another pizza party.
    GOVE: <dry hissing>
    MAY: How you do think I know?
    GRAYLING: Hello!
    GOVE: <sound of wet tentacles>
    MAY: I propose an alternative: Become My Brexit Minister.
    GOVE: <ghoulish wail>

    MAY: Think about it Michael this could be your chance to prove everyone wrong.
    GOVE: <wet clicking>
    MAY: Brexit Secretary. They’d HAVE to admire you.
    GOVE: <subdued wet slapping>
    MAY: They’d have to love you then, Michael. The people, they’d have to respect you.
    GOVE: <demonic purr>

    <in the terrace cafe>

    JAYAWARDENA: Prime Minister…
    MAY: The lasagna please. And what’s the dessert of the day?
    JAYAWARDENA: No, Prime Minister it’s me.
    MAY: <blank look>
    JAYAWARDENA: Ranil Jayawardena? PPS at Justice?
    MAY: Still no.
    JAYAWARDENA: I hearby resi…
    MAY: Meh. Join the queue. I’m on lunch.

    <meanwhile in Staples>

    REES-MOGG: Fair maiden! Where is the Vellum? I must write to the 1922 Committee!
    TILL LADY: Paper? Over there.
    REES-MOGG: Vellum, sweet child! Vellum! One does not use paper for the ‘22!
    TILL LADY: Is that like Post-its then? They're over there.
    REES-MOGG: Vellum!
    TILL LADY: Sir there’s a queue.

    LIDINGTON: Rees-Mogg’s letter is in.
    MAY: Tedious little shit.
    LIDINGTON: Anything from Gove?
    MAY: I feel terror and an overwhelming urge to vomit, so maybe his human form approaches.
    LIDINGTON: Oh sorry, that's my fault. I forgot to mute Sky and Rees-Mogg’s live. <click>
    MAY: Okay, yes, the feeling has passed.

    LIDINGTON: Leadsom’s up in the house. Says she’s not resigning.
    MAY: Fucksake, can’t one thing go my way today?
    LIDINGTON: Is that not… a good thing?
    MAY: Think about it David. This means we STILL have to invite her to Cabinet Meetings.

    LIDINGTON: Rumours about Chris now. Shall I…
    MAY: Grayling Grayling Grayling
    GRAYLING: Hello!
    LIDINGTON: I was going to call him.
    MAY: The curse is quicker. Chris have you been speaking to Gove again?
    GRAYLING: Um… No?
    MAY: You’re covered in ichor, Chris
    GRAYLING: Okay yes.

    MAY: What did Gove say to you?
    GRAYLING: He sang a song, straight into my brain. Like sugar, sorrow and power intertwined. Through it all, one world resolved: ‘resign’.
    MAY: Oh Jesus. Gove got to you.
    GRAYLING: Also he gave me pizza.
    MAY:
    GRAYLING: It was Hawaiian.
    MAY: Sweet mercy.

    GRAYLING: I think this means I have to resign.
    LIDINGTON: Chris, you’re a valuable member of the team and...
    GRAYLING: That’s very nice of you to say so David, but I feel very strongly about this. I hereby...
    MAY: You’re NOT resigning Chris. You don’t want to.
    GRAYLING: Oh. Okay miss. Sorry.

    MAY <on the phone>: Are you in or out?
    GOVE: <sound of one hand clapping>
    MAY: Sorry? Is that yes or no?
    GOVE: <unholy shriek>
    MAY: Michael, this would be a lot easier if you assumed human form for a few minutes.
    GOVE: <hideous clicking>
    MAY: Yes I know it’s your day off, but still.

    LIDINGTON: Okay. Press conference booked for five.
    MAY: Cheers.
    LIDINGTON: What are you going to say?
    MAY: Honestly? I really don’t know. I just thought... YOLO
    LIDINGTON: You could do the little dance again?
    MAY: Really, David?
    LIDINGTON: Oh come on! How could it POSSIBLY make things any worse?!

    LIDINGTON: Okay, thinking out of the box... you could go full George-from-Seinfeld-after-he-quit?
    MAY: So turn up, don’t mention Brexit, pretend the whole referendum never happened?
    LIDINGTON: Yes, and hope everyone is so embarrassed they all pretend the same.
    MAY: I mean, it’s pretty tempting…

    LIDINGTON: Rehman Chishti has quit now.
    MAY: Who ARE all these people?!
    LIDINGTON: I have no idea.
    MAY: I need to start reading stuff before I sign it.
    LIDINGTON: Wait… ‘Trade Envoy’ apparently.
    MAY: I mean, what even IS that?!

    LIDINGTON: Are Trade Envoys the ones who go helicopter golfing with Prince Andrew?
    MAY: No, that’s Cultural Ambassadors.
    LIDINGTON: Oh yes.
    MAY: Hang on, are they the ones we send to the hot, humid countries we hate?
    LIDINGTON: No, that’s Liam Fox.
    MAY: Ha! Oh yeah.

    MAY: All I’m saying, Donald, is you’re being VERY unhelpful here.
    TUSK: Me? All I said was ‘no brexit’ is an option. It was just a little comment.
    MAY: And that’s… wait, are you LAUGHING.
    TUSK: *stiffles giggles* no.
    MAY: You are!
    TUSK: I’m not!
    MAY: Donald! I swear… hello?!

    TUSK <laughing hysterically>: Oh god I had to hang up. I cannot stop.
    MACRON: Let me answer next time! We’ll make her think she dialed the wrong number
    TUSK: No, it is mean!
    MACRON: Okay, but let me make another public comment about a European Army.
    TUSK: LOL! Okay go on then.

    LIDINGTON: Okay, show time. What are you doing again?
    MAY: Still no idea.
    LIDINGTON: Just think, ‘what would David Cameron do’?
    MAY: ...And then do the opposite. Yes I know. Actually… do you think announcing his arrest and execution would help?
    LIDINGTON:
    MAY: Just thinking out loud.

    MAY: How did I do?
    LIDINGTON: You didn’t really say anything.
    MAY: Yup.
    LIDINGTON: I mean, it was pretty much a rehash of the same stuff as this morning.
    MAY: Yup.
    LIDINGTON: Basically, a damp squib.
    MAY: Yup.
    LIDINGTON: Top, top trolling.
    MAY: Thanks!

    MAY: Okay Michael
    GOVE: <eldritch hiss>
    MAY: Yes, we’ll see you soon.
    LIDINGTON: He’s coming over?
    MAY: As soon as he’s got his skin on.
    LIDINGTON: I’ll lock the cat away.
    MAY: Thanks, and send down to the kitchen for some live mice.

    GOVE: It iS GoOd tO SeE YOu AgaiN PriMe MINIsTeR. On MY DaY oFF.
    MAY: Thanks for coming Michael
    GOVE: It IS Of nO CoNSEqUencE.
    MAY: You’re very kind.
    GOVE: AlTHOugh TOday IS My DaY oFF.
    MAY: Yes, I know, you already said.

    GOVE: YoU wiLL PaY hoMAGE?
    MAY: Sorry?
    GOVE <lip smacking>: HOmaGE
    MAY: Oh right! Sorry! David! The mice please.
    GOVE <crunching of small bones>: AH! SwEet moRCels.
    DAVID: My God.
    GOVE: Do I HAve sOME on MY ChIN?
    MAY: David don’t stare.
    GOVE <wiping>: HoW EMBarRAssING i DO ApOLOgise.

    MAY: Will you be Brexit Secretary?
    GOVE: WEll iT iS a SUBJeCt I HaVE OPIniOns oN.
    MAY: I know.
    GOVE: AnD I hAVE aLWAys bEEn LoYal aND trUE to mY FriENDs.
    LIDINGTON: Weeeell...
    GOVE: OKaY, ApART fROM tHAt ONe TiME.
    LIDINGTON: One?
    GOVE: Or PErHAps tWIcE.
    LIDINGTON: Try five.
    MAY: Be nice, David.

    GOVE: If i AM To SErvE tHEn I hAVe dEMAnDs.
    MAY: Shoot.
    GOVE: I wISh to ReNEgoTIaTe tHE TeRMs.
    MAY: Okay. Tricky. But maybe.
    GOVE: AnD A FRee VoTE iN ParlIAMent.
    MAY: Keep talking.
    GOVE: alSO aN IteM oN mY STeaM wISHList is ON SAle.

    LIDINGTON: More mice?
    GOVE: ThANk YoU.
    MAY: Okay we can work with this.
    GOVE: AnD OnE FiNAL DemAND. I reQUIre BoRIS JohNSoN’s hEAd oN A pLAte.
    MAY: Okay. That's trickier but the idea has a certain appeal and I’m sure…
    LIDINGTON: Prime Minister! No!
    MAY: Goddamnit.
    GOVE: ThEn I mUSt decLINE.

    Read more...
  • John Bull has written 1 private update. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    17th April 2019 Coffee, Boats and Skyrim quotes...

    Photo: My current view on the world

    Rewriting history

    One of the hardest, and most interesting, challenges of writing the 'Brexit Tapes' so far has been what to do with the 'lost' prequel.

    One of the standard tropes of writing is that the very first thing you create in a series will nearly always turn out to be the worst entry in it. The reasons for that are relatively obvious…

    8th March 2019 Stretch goals and the big 'OMG we're funded what now?!' update

    Well. What a couple of weeks it has been.

    Firstly, thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart. When Unbound approached me and suggested doing this book, I was somewhat dismissive of the chances of it getting funded. But within a single week you all proved me thoroughly wrong.

    To say this caught me out would be a bit of an understatement. My wife and I had booked a short break in Krakow…

  • These people are helping to fund The Brexit Tapes.

    User avatar

    Edward Bilson

    User avatar

    Ida Keogh

    User avatar

    David Gardner

    User avatar

    Stephen Sweet

    User avatar

    Simon Stacey

    User avatar

    Mike Dimmick

    User avatar

    David Matkins

    User avatar

    Barry Price

    User avatar

    Donald Macleod

    User avatar

    Margaret Gordon

    User avatar

    Sian Kelly

    User avatar

    Hannah Jaenicke

    User avatar

    Will Sykes

    User avatar

    Tom Foskett

    User avatar

    Nora Casey

    User avatar

    Matthew Alden-Farrow

    User avatar

    Emma Reiss

    User avatar

    Helen Browne

    User avatar

    Barbara Cox

    User avatar

    Philip Huggins

    User avatar

    Helen Bartlett

    User avatar

    Andreas Kjeldsen

    View more