Trade negotiations between Sigmar Gabriel, the German economy minister, and Dalston have effectively failed, according to council sources. The American’s don’t sound that keen either.
The talks began 30 seconds after the Brexit vote came in with the aim of reducing or removing a wide range of barriers to transatlantic trade and investment – but they have proved controversial in both Europe and America.
‘We just have to accept the painful truth,’ said Dalston’s chief trade negotiator, Cllr Malcolm Gland, ‘the rest of the world just don’t want what we’re selling no more.’
Dalston’s major commercial exports to the international market have traditionally been in the services sector, with unicycle repair services and craft beer brewery consultancies leading the charge.
‘While Dalston remains a global power in unicycle-related commerce, the international market for these services remains vanishingly small,’ Cllr Gland told the Mercury, ‘the rest of the world having cottoned on to the fact that riding a unicycle makes you look a bit of a tit.’
‘We were on stronger ground with craft beers,’ he continued mournfully, ‘until everybody on earth worked out that you could just throw a handful of twigs and a few leaves into a can of John Smiths to get roughly the same effect, taste-wise.’
‘The bottles look nice though. And some of those wacky names are really funny. Well worth the extra three quid in my view,’ he said in a sticking-up-for-Dalston-industry kinda way.
Councillor Gland lays the blame for the talks’ collapse at the feet of Donald Trump, partly because the presidential candidate opposes increased international economic integration ‘especially when it involves hipsters’ and partly because, y’know, he is Donald Trump, so why not?
(Speaking totally off the record, Councillor Gland also put Mr Trump’s hostility to unicycle-related commerce down to his inability to ride one ‘because his exceptionally small genitalia provide insufficient ballast’ and he keeps falling off.)