FACT CHECK: Did John Cleese Author An Essay Saying, ‘Britain is Repossessing the USA’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims British actor and comedian John Cleese wrote a satirical essay announcing that “Britain is repossessing the U.S.A.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Cleese authored the essay. The satirical essay has been circulating online since 2000.

Fact Check:

The Oct. 15 Facebook post includes a photo of Cleese, a member of the British comedy troupe Monty Python, and a lengthy essay addressed to “The citizens of the United States of America.” The essay lists 17 rules Americans will have to follow since “Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A.” The post claims Cleese published the essay after the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which took place on Sept. 29.

“In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately,” the essay reads.”Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Arkansas, which she does not fancy). Your new prime minister, Boris Johnson, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections.”

There is, however, no evidence Cleese published the essay. Check Your Fact searched the comedian’s social media accounts but found no similar statements. Cleese’s publicist Neil Reading confirmed to USA Today that the actor didn’t write the statement. (RELATED: Did Barack Obama Say, ‘Legally, An Impeached President Can’t Appoint Judges’?)

Versions of the essay have been circulating on the internet for roughly 20 years, with the first version of it being shared by U.K. resident Alan Baxter in November 2000 as a commentary on the U.S. presidential election that year, according to Snopes. Since then, the essay has been expanded and republished several times, sometimes following U.S. elections, the outlet reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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