Beer... the Brexiteers' secret weapon

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson drinks a pint of beer at the St Austell Brewery, during a stop of the Vote Leave bus campaign, in favour of Britain leaving the European Union, in St Austell, Britain © Darren Staples
Brexiteers must be thirsting after a “happy hour” come the day of the EU referendum. Given the number of pints the Leave camp are seen walloping down for the cameras, a splash of English ale must be a carefully brewed secret weapon.

Blonde and stout former London mayor Boris Johnson in particular has been photographed holding yet another pint of bitter alongside Brexiteer drinking buddy, Justice Secretary Michael Gove.

The Eurosceptic duo raise their brews confidently for the camera in a photo with all the freshness of a toilet in a cheap ‘n’ cheerful Wetherspoons pub.

In another pic – taken at the all-English Chester-le-Street Cricket Club – Boris is shown gently cupping a pint of ale while admiring former England Test cricketer (and Brexiteer) Sir Ian “Beefy” Botham.

Beer evidently holds a special place in British political culture. Those who don’t acknowledge this do so at their peril.

Take the humbled billionaire and London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, the Tory who lost to Labour’s Sadiq Khan in a crushing vote last month.

Goldsmith’s absolute failure to hold a pint of beer properly undoubtedly played a part in his demise.

Of course, there was also his nasty campaign tactics, like trying to group Khan with Islamic extremists. But in a city with 7,000 pubs, not knowing how to drink a pint surely played a part.

Finally there was Prime Minister David Cameron’s famous jaunt to the local with President Xi Jinping of China.

The Chinese premier downed his bitter like it was the last night of the Party Congress.

Cameron also looked happy, but then he had just signed about £40 billion worth of trade deals with Beijing.

The two world leaders were even spotted later that night celebrating the success of their diplomatic concord.

Once again, beer proved indispensable to the British art of politicking.