The government announced this morning that Chief Brexit negotiator David Davis is to be replaced by two short planks.

It’s believed the replacement of Mr. Davis with a pair of stout pieces of wood will allow greater flexibility in negotiations when faced with such wily characters as Barnier and his great big, confusing piles of paper.

“What do you make paper from?” A spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the EU asked the media this morning.

No one responded initially, most actually looked like they would rather be covering a different story.

“Come on. We don’t have all day. I’ve got to go to the timber merchants and select our new negotiating team shortly. I’m hoping they have oak in stock. Although personally I would go for balsa as it’s easier to carry.”

“Wood pulp?” The Rochdale Herald’s Brexit correspondent eventually proffered. “You make paper out of wood pulp?”

“Exactly. The EU won’t stand a chance. The two short planks are going to fight them on their level.”

Additionally it’s felt that if the EU team attempt to outflank the British in the talks than the two short planks can be placed side by side and pressed together to present a broader front to get around.

The change is also expected to lead to a significant cost savings in the negotiations as the two planks can simply be loaded onto a Eurostar at St Pancras and picked up upon arrival at Brussels.

When asked how Mr Davis was taking the news, the representative of DExEU was reassuring.

“You’ve never seen a man so relieved to be replaced by some wood in an important office of state.”

The only real risk in the change is felt to derive from the possibility of Barnier and other Eurocrats maliciously carving their names and the date into either plank as a way of taunting the UK into doing something reckless.

Further enquiries were made as to how the money saved by the change would be reallocated.

“We’re going to give the cost savings to the NHS of course.”