Andrew Maxwell shares a steamroom story that perfectly sums up Anglo-Irish relations
Andrew Maxwell is Ireland's unofficial spokesman for Brexit.
The comedian appeared on The Ray D'Arcy Show last night, fresh from several appearances on English television where he has schooled major British political commentators on why Brexit is such a mess.
Last night, he eloquently explained to D'Arcy why the Brits were so ready to overlook the crucial detail of Northern Ireland and the border in the lead-up to the referendum.
He also shared a story that perfectly sums up the current state of Anglo-Irish relations, as well as the ignorance some Britons have with regards to their neighbours.
Maxwell lives in Kent, and he told Ray about a time he was in a local steamroom. "We're sat in the steamroom together, and he meant it in a friendly way. He wasn't anti-Irish, he wasn't bitter, and that's what made it so crazy."
"I was just left with me and him in the sauna, old boy, late 60s, and he already knew I was Irish. So he turned around to me and said 'I bet you're delighted! Being Irish!'
"And I was like 'Yeah... Care to be more specific?'
"And he was like 'Well now that we're out of Europe, you'll be next! And once Ireland is out of the EU... then you'll be free to rejoin us!"
Maxwell was shocked by the idea, saying "That's not even in the Daily Mail! I found myself saying 'Who told you that?' In the same tone you'd take if you heard your kid say a naughty word on a bouncy castle. Who told you that?'"
84% of Irish people currently have a favourable view of the EU, according to the latest Eurobarometer poll, the highest in the EU. Our feelings towards the UK, particularly the idea of "rejoining it", are more ambiguous.