It may be their money, but it's our custard

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The Independent Online
THERE WILL be a strong British flavour to the launch of the euro in Brussels today after Britain insisted on the heads of state of the European Union sitting down to an all-British menu for lunch, writes Colin Brown.

Chancellor Kohl, President Chirac and the other European heads will settle the final details for the euro over a lunch hosted by Tony Blair, as the leader of the European Presidency.

Beef will be off the menu but there were some European eyebrows raised at the solidly British menu of Scottish salmon, Welsh lamb and an English cheese-board followed by chocolate parfait in a whisky-flavoured custard.

Britain had the choice of the menu even though the European Council is picking up the bill for the meal in Brussels. There had been suggestions the historic lunch should have reflected the variety of the European nations and the French objected to the menu being printed in English, but that left British officials unimpressed. "The bloody French are always complaining," said one.