A knees-up for Brexit or drowning your sorrows?
By James Connolly
For most drinkers, it will be another regular night at their local pub tomorrow evening (Fri-day).
But for others, it will be a momentous occasion — a night they will never forget — as they ring in the end of the UK’s 47-year membership of the European Union.
“Where were you on Brexit night?”, they will expect to be asked in years to come by children and grandchildren.
Perhaps some of those will recall celebrating — or mourning — at the Roaring Meg pub in Biddulph or the Lawton Arms, Church Lawton, which have organised Brexit parties to mark the country officially leaving the EU at 11pm tomorrow.
The Roaring Meg, on Pennine Way, will be lined with Union flags and a red, white and blue balloon drop will be staged at midnight, as well as a disco and karaoke — though ABBA will presumably be off the set list.
Paul Brown, landlord of the Roaring Meg and ardent Brexiteer, insisted that partygoers from both the leave and remain camps were welcome at his Brexit bash.
“Whether you are for or against it, it’s an occasion in the country’s history that we want to commemorate in some way,” he said.
“We have a cross-section of people coming — of course, I wouldn’t know which way they voted. We get a cross-section of people in the pub normally, so I don’t see why this would be any different.
“I think that people have mostly stopped arguing about Brexit now that it’s definitely happening.
“I voted to leave — I wanted to get control of our laws back, that was my main issue.”
When asked what he would say to people who might find the idea of celebrating the country’s withdrawal from the EU unnecessary, Mr Brown said: “I have got nothing to say to those people. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
Not much will actually change as the clock strikes 11pm, but it will mark the beginning of work on new arrangements for Britain’s trade, customs, travel and regulation with the EU and the rest of the world.
Karen Hackney, the manager at the Lawton Arms in Church Lawton, has also organised a Brexit celebration party. She said: “Now we’re going to have Brexit, whether you voted leave or remain the idea is to just get together and commemorate this moment. Everyone feels a bit down after Christmas, so let’s have this party and get Brexit done.”