There are a lot of things to be gloomy about at the moment. Not only is it January, not only did the government spend £50,000 yesterday staging a fake traffic jam, but Brexit is *still* dragging on.
And, as Theresa May prepares to put her EU exit proposal in front of MPs for their meaningful vote on the deal on January 15, it may be a slight understatement to describe the scene in Westminster as a bit tense.
But Brexiteer James Gray is clearly determined to remain cheerful in the face of all the drama.
Asked whether May’s attempt to convince Conservatives of her plan with a drinks reception at Downing Street was likely to work, the deadpan Tory MP suggested his arm could be twisted... if the PM was willing to crack out the finest bottle of bubbly Number 10 has to offer.
“I’m going to make up my mind based entirely on the quality of the wine and the canapes that are served,” Gray told BBC’s Newsnight on Monday.
“If we get bog-standard Number 10 nasty red, warm white and a sausage on a stick – no chance. But some really good quality champagne? You never know.”
Let’s just hope May wasn’t too quick in popping that cork – the North Wiltshire MP quickly clarified that “nothing could make me change my mind about anything”.
“The backstop is totally, utterly unacceptable and I will not support any deal that has the backstop in it,” he said.
But Gray was not the only one to reduce the gargantuan issue of leaving the EU to his gut.
Speaking after the PM’s drinks reception, Boris Johnson was quick to reassure the great British public there would be no shortage of their favourite nibbles post-Brexit.
“I make one confident prediction,” the former foreign secretary told reporters. “Under any circumstances this country will be amply provided for not only with Mars Bars, not only with drinking water, but also with cheese and onion crisps.”
Well, that’s good to know.