"The French government proposed a union of Britain and France in 1956, even offering to accept the sovereignty of the Queen, newly discovered documents show."
- The Globe and Mail - Jan. 16, 2007
Archival documents recently revealed that in 1956, the prime minister of France proposed a merger of his country with Britain. Many political commentators were shocked by the revelation. However, they likely would have been much less surprised if they had also seen a copy of the following yet-to-be-released proposed terms of union:
WHEREAS the great nation of France wishes to join forces with its poorer, cross-channel cousin variously known as England, Britain, the United Kingdom and "chez les bâtards."
AND WHEREAS the glorious French people have always been known for their acts of charitable kindness even when it comes to "la louche petite bourgeoisie" living in England.
AND WHEREAS the shocking deficiencies in British governance, culture and cuisine threaten to undermine European stability.
AND WHEREAS it would be expensive, impractical and "trés inopportun" to launch an invasion at this time.
NOW THEREFORE the glorious republic of France agrees to a merger of nominal equals to form what shall henceforth be known as the United Kingdom of France.
IN ORDER TO facilitate this unfortunate union, France, in a typically selfless yet grandiloquent gesture, agrees to recognize "La Reine de les Rosbifs" as the sovereign head of the new nation provided that she comply with the following terms and conditions, to wit, she shall:
* Change her name from Elizabeth II to Brigitte I.
* Enroll for a minimum 26-week course at Berlitz to improve her passable French.
* Guarantee that any of her progeny will marry only those of French descent.
* Cease and desist from burning meat and overcooking vegetables.
* Acknowledge the comedic mastery of Jerry Lewis and forever foreswear the appallingly humourless Benny Hill.
* Holiday regularly on the Riviera.
WHEREFOR the citizens of France will willingly submit to British law when the following provisos are satisfied:
* The two houses of Parliament are joined and renamed The National Assembly.
* The seat of government is moved to Paris.
* The national anthem is changed to "La Marseillaise."
* All current British subjects attend a six-week wine-tasting and culinary course.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT KNOWN that the final merger will be effective once these few reasonable conditions are met or when "l’enfer est tout gelé", whichever comes first.
SIGNED AT PARIS ("mais oui") this _____ journée de la mois de janvier, 1957.