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A distinctly British celebration

Are we feeling optimistic about 2021? It`s seriously got to be a whole lot better than 2020, hasn’t it? What a disaster that turned out to be! The people`s “annus horribilis”. But let`s be positive looking forward. Have we all got our English sparkling wine ready to toast the New Year in? I am proposing a distinctly British celebration this New Year`s Eve. As a country we are entering a new era, after all, with the expiry of the post-Brexit transition period. Whether you voted to leave the EU political union or not, this is a huge moment in our country. We are taking a whole new direction. Surely our glasses should be charged with English sparkling instead of Champagne on this night. England`s Giffords Hall, Nyetimber or Hattingley …. Instead of France`s Veuve Cliquot, Ruinart or Moet.  I`m not suggesting for a minute that we should end our love affair with France, and Europe more generally; not at all, we will always be part of Europe.  But patriotism is not jingoism, and we shouldn`t conflate the two. Anyway, the decision is made. And we`ve left the EU already. The divisions created between “Leave” and “Remain”, these past four years and more, have resulted in far too many people tearing pieces out of each other. I know I`ve made the point before, but I feel strongly about it. Can we please draw a line in the ground now, everyone?  I say, let`s get out the flags and give this moment in time the shout it deserves. Of course, it really does not have to be English sparkling wine. There`s not much more British than beer, and a curry! And cider, of course. Nowt wrong with cider. We also have an excellent alcohol-free sparkling elderflower drink from Scotland. Indeed, we should all try to get creative about how we celebrate this 2020 New Year in. Whatever we decide to do, we can be sure the coronavirus will do its best to spoil it. Good luck with that. And happy new year everyone!

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