Why are kids doing the ‘Brexit tackle’? They’re having fun at adults’ expense – and mocking our toxic politics (Lola Okolosie, 14 Feb 2024, The Guardian)

For the umpteenth time, my son, with an Ikea stuffed ball he has had since infancy, is playing football in the living room. He is joined by one of his best friends, an equally football-obsessed 10-year-old who, before slide-tackling in what can only be described as a deliberate attempt to knock my son’s legs off, shouts: “Brexit means Brexit!” Confused, I pass it off as an example of tweenage precocity: which 10-year-old is happy to quote Theresa May while playing football?

Over the next year, however, I will hear the term used again and again when my son plays football at the local park. He turns 11 and is off to secondary school. There, too, the phrase seems to have become a “thing”. One evening, as he recounts the details of how he got a painful-looking graze on his shin, he quotes the attacking player’s prelude to clattering into him: “Brexit means Brexit!” I ask, finally, why people are saying this. Nonchalantly, as he practises “skills” with the same softball, he explains that the Brexit tackle “is a tackle that doesn’t get the ball, only takes out the player”. Urban Dictionary concurs, stating it is, among other things, “when somebody hits a massive slide tackle and usually sends them flying and it hurts them servely [sic]”.

The ball was free trade and deregulation.