Deliberately or not (I guess the former) he was echoing Margaret Thatcher's 1981 description of her efforts to sell weapons to the wahhabist regime in Saudi Arabia as "batting for Britain". He was also, undoubtedly deliberately, echoing Churchill's "Battle of Britain". Is that a great note to strike if you wish people to vote Yes in the referendum?
Batting, battling - what's in an 'L'? Orwell described sport as war without the bullets; Peter Gabriel (riffing on Orwell) suggested that the Euro gameshow Jeux sans Frontières (which I sorely miss) was "war without tears". (Was Médecins Sans Frontières a riff on that show? If so, it's a reference lost to most today.)
When I was young, Jeux sans Frontières and the Eurovision Song Contest were the two main ways in which the continent of Europe was made visible to the British public. (Not so! There was also Van der Valk.)
Meanwhile, Emma Thompson has described Britain as "a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island" - surely an oxymoron?
And Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng has commented: "Emma Thompson does not know what she is talking about. We are about to become the biggest economy in the world" - surely a moron?
This could be a long summer...