Brexit Day: Downing Street to host a very British reception — just don't mention the canapés

Downing Street on Friday released a list of resoundingly Anglo-Saxon delicacies that were due to be served at a reception in Number 10 attended by Cabinet ministers and senior officials to toast the moment of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. The sole wrinkle for hardcore Anglophiles was that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s aides were forced to deploy the distinctly Gallic term of “canapés” to describe the Brexit eats to be consumed as the clock strikes 11pm - and Downing Street is bathed in a lightshow of the red, white and blue of the Union flag. Downing Street would not be drawn on Friday on whether absolutely everything on its Brexit Night menu, apart from the language, had been sourced in the United Kingdom. The latest stock listing of the Government Wine Cellar, which supplies pretty much all official Whitehall receptions, indicates healthy reserves of several highly-rated British wineries, including Nyetimber, Chapel Down and the almost suitably-named Breaky Bottom. It seemed unlikely that the evening would pass without a reminder that English sparkling wine has now on several occasions been voted as superior to champagne in expert blind tastings. The poll uncovered deep fault lines in British society, and subsequent arguments over when and how the U.K. should depart, if at all, caused political paralysis until a decisive victory by BorisJohnson in a general election called to resolve the deadlock last month. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at 10 Downing Street for talks focused on a post-Brexit free trade deal, in London, on Jan. 30.