In retrospect the European elections in 2014 were a turning point. Voters in the UK, as it was still known, had taken them no more seriously than the Eurovision Song Contest, and Ukip under its populist leader Nigel Farage performed rather better than expected. Nevertheless the most popular daily newspaper of the time, Rupert Murdoch's Sun, ran with a story about a celebrity love triangle on its front page the day after the results were declared.
The more serious newspapers reacted with alarm. The Guardian reported that Farage's agent had previously been an organiser for the now defunct fascist National Front, and that Alan Sked, the founder of Ukip, was adamant that Farage had told him he was not worried about the n-word vote because "the nig-nogs will never vote for us".
Despite this nobody paid much attention, and the Labour Party continued to ignore Ukip and concentrate its fire on what was left of the Liberal Democrats.
The next shock came in September 2014 when Scotland voted to become independent, with fears about what was happening south of the border fuelling a much stronger Yes vote than expected.
The Labour Party under its leader Ed Milliband had been struggling to make headway even before the Scottish vote, but it now faced climbing an electoral mountain.
The May 2015 general election was much closer than many had expected. The Liberal Democrats were reduced to a rump of just 6 seats and were now back to where they had been in the 1950s, but by splitting the Conservative vote, Ukip emerged holding the balance of power with a contingent of 38 MPs.
The Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, was forced to resign after a revolt by hardline Eurosceptic MPs. Nigel Farage refused to go into coalition with the new minority Conservative administration headed by Douglas Carswell.
Ed Milliband resigned the party leadership immediately after the election and was succeeded by Ed Balls, who set out to win back working class Labour votes by taking a much tougher line on immigration and siding with the anti-European lobby.
Prime Minister Carswell promised an in-out referendum for May 2016, but before the campaign could get underway, Farage and his Ukip MPs joined Labour in a vote of no confidence, and a general election was called for March 2016.
Leading Tory Eurosceptics successfully negotiated a coupon arrangement with Ukip, and the result was a landslide for the right. Ukip emerged with 20 seats more than the Tories, and Labour was reduced to just 126.
Nigel Farage entered 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister on 18 March 2016, officially at the head of a coalition with the Conservatives, and announced that the new government was immediately suspending membership of the EU, pending a snap referendum to be held a month later.
In a televised address as Prime Minister a week later, Farage announced that the country would be charting an exciting new course. Unity and a common sense of purpose would be vital, and for that reason he would be seeking approval of a new Defence of the Realm and Emergency Powers Act (DOREPA) as part of the referendum on the EU.
He was also delighted to announce the formation of a new government of national unity. Ed Balls took the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer, while the new Tory leader, Boris Johnson, became Foreign Secretary. In a popular move Jeremy Clarkson became Minister for the Environment. The Sun was ecstatic.
Ed Balls crossed the floor with 30 MPs, leaving the opposition benches populated by rump Labour, a handful of Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru.
DOREPA and the Referendum
Parliament set about an ambitious legislative programme even before the referendum. The Human Rights Act was repealed; the Welsh Assembly was abolished and Health and Safety legislation was scrapped. A new 34% flat rate of income tax and national insurance was introduced. This was highly popular with higher rate tax payers, but meant that several million low-paid workers and pensioners found themselves paying tax on very low incomes.
The financial markets had been watching nervously, and the decision by voters to back immediate withdrawal from the EU caused a serious run on the pound and very heavy falls on the stock market.
The Bank of England was put under the control of Chancellor Balls who introduced exchange controls and a base rate of 7%. Inflation began to creep up.
As 2016 wore on the pound continued to drop, and Balls responded by raising interest rates until base rate reached 15%.
There was a sharp rise in mortgage repossessions, and in a popular move Farage invoked DOREPA for the first time to order the banks to convert mortgages into equity instead of repossession, with home owners paying rent instead of their mortgages.
This had unexpected consequences: the government was now finding it very hard to borrow on the international capital markets, and the credit ratings of the banks were revised sharply down to junk status.
Chancellor Balls responded by announcing that government spending would be slashed. Benefit payments were cut by 50% and plans for health insurance schemes were announced to replace the NHS. Crapita and other private sector service providers were awarded franchises to run hospitals and GP surgeries.
A long, hot summer
Investment by overseas companies dried up, and some major players announced that market conditions in rump UK and the imposition of tariffs by the EU were forcing them to relocate to mainland Europe, Ireland and Scotland.
Unemployment rose sharply, and by the end of 2016 it was nearly 3 million. Large numbers of British expats began to return from Europe because they could no longer get work or residence permits. Fortunately this influx was matched by an exodus of EU citizens, including many Scottish and Irish families.
Inflation was reported to be running at 30%, and nobody paid attention to Bank of England base rates any more. Foreign holidays were out of reach for most people, and even the well-off were finding it difficult thanks to exchange controls and a worthless pound.
Riots broke out in many English cities, and there was widespread looting and scores of deaths.
The Prime Minister invoked DOREPA again to impose drastic restrictions on news reporting in an attempt to prevent "copy cat" riots, or so the government said.
The board of the BBC was dismissed, and government commissioners sent in to ensure "balanced coverage" of news and current affairs. Newspapers were subjected to similar controls.
Vigilante groups appeared on the streets, armed and equipped with what appeared to be police and army-issue weapons and equipment. Pitched battles took place, and eye witnesses said they had seen many bodies.
The Prime Minister went on television to announce that terrorist elements were at work, and he blamed foreign extremists for the unrest. With immediate effect the government would use powers conferred by DOREPA to intern those responsible, partly for their own protection, prior to deporting them "back to where they came from".
Thousands of people were rounded up, and snatch squads began operating across the country to remove "terrorist and foreign elements" and hold them in camps run by Krapita, G-four-S and other private sector companies. When foreign journalists claimed that conditions in the camps were terrible, the Prime Minister commented that these were not holidays camps.
Capital punishment was reintroduced.
The collapse of the pound, soaring inflation and a desperate shortage of foreign exchange meant that shops ran out of many basic foodstuffs and commodities. If you wanted coffee or bananas the only way to get them was on the now thriving black market, where dealers would accept only Euros.
In fact, the Euro had become the de facto currency of rump UK, and if you wanted a plumber or electrician, you could expect to have to pay in cash, in Euros.
There were severe fuel shortages, and hundreds of thousands of public sector workers were laid off because of the desperate state of public finances. The government's attempts to pay the bills by printing money had only served to boost inflation further.
By 2018 Britain had been expelled from the Commonwealth and had its membership of a host of other international organisations suspended. The Commonwealth's decision was mocked in a memorable party political broadcast by the Rt Hon Jeremy Clarkson.
On a begging trip to the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls, stunned the media when he announced that he would be seeking asylum.
Despite the government's best efforts to control the media, including bans on Facebook and Twitter, satellite TV and the internet meant that uncensored news was freely circulating.
Those suspected of spreading "false and malicious" rumours were likely to be picked up by the paramilitary League of St George and interned "for their own safety".
A combination of the government's new Repatriation Grant Scheme, open attacks on foreign-looking or sounding people in the streets (including a Welsh family from Caernarfon on a day trip to Birmingham), and the threat of internment resulted in a dramatic exodus from the country.
Nigel Farage went on television to announce that his government had solved the housing crisis, and that henceforth Parliament would meet on just one day a year to approve decrees issued under DOREPA. This would stop any further abuse of MPs' expenses, Farage declared.
On 30 January 2019 officially backed unionist paramilitaries mowed down hundreds of people in Belfast calling for reunification with the Republic.
The Sun, Daily Mail and Times marked the occasion with special souvenir editions to celebrate the birth of a second son to Wills and Kate.
The general election scheduled for March 2021 was cancelled on security grounds.
This post has attracted several responses from people who claim that Plaid Cymru is xenophobic - some of them most likely from Labour's black propaganda department. So here for the record is what Leanne Wood has said about the party's principles: