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How one proverb became a recurring part of the of the Brexit debate

What is "cakeism"? An English professor explains the confusion over “having your cake and eating it too”—and suggests some cake-based ways forward...

By Simon Horobin  

The phrase "have your cake and eat it too" has become part of the Brexit negotiations. How?

The well-worn proverb “you can’t have your cake and eat it” is enjoying something of a revival in the heated exchanges over Brexit. Ever since Boris Johnson characterised his policy on cake as “pro having it and pro eating it too,” Brussels has sought to alert the British negotiators to the impossibility of adopting such an attitude.

In October 2016, European Council president Donald Tusk, taking a rather…

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