The UK government has announced a bold new plan for the North of England. Instead of adapting to a post-industrial world, it is to be abandoned and left for weeds and trees to come back.
Prime Minister Theresa May explained the decision at a press conference. "We have tried to make things work for the North, but we just can't. Therefore we have designated a rectangular area with its corners at approximately Carlisle, Newcastle, Hull and Liverpool. This area is to be left for nature to reclaim. We will try to encourage it wherever possible to return to how it was as a primeval forest."
A journalist asked her what would happen to the millions of people who lived within the area. She replied, "Well they're Northerners. They're used to living like savages already. They'll adapt. We'll deliver them pies and tinned beans until they relearn how to hunt and gather."
The government has announced the plan as part of its post-Brexit strategy for the country. Southern England is expected to benefit from the "greening of the North", as it will mean that more jobs will move down south, and also less Scottish people will be able to reach London.