The Brexit torment of the past 40 months has produced a mini-lexicon of frequently repeated words that we once might barely have used in a lifetime: backstop, yellowhammer, prorogation.
But the one that mystifies me is the adjective that surfaces when pro-Leave politicians advise on the attitude with which British business should now go out into the world: ‘buccaneering’.
Who’s used it? Who hasn’t.
In his Conservative Party leadership campaign, the now foreign secretary Dominic Raab promised to lead “a buccaneering approach to global free trade”.
In an address to the local business community in Redruth, home secretary Priti Patel talked about “re-energising Britain’s buccaneering spirit post-Brexit”.
And both Boris Johnson and former international trade minister Liam Fox have reached for the pithy “buccaneering Britain”, to sum up their vision for the country’s new approach to doing business around the world.
None of these politicians has ever run a business and, to the best of my knowledge, none has ever engaged in piracy – yet all are content to use the language of the latter to shed light on the former.
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