Prime Minister under pressure to grant bank holiday if England win Euros

·3-min read

Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to give workers a bank holiday if England win the Euro 2020 championship.

Lee Jones set up a petition on the Parliament website on Thursday asking the Prime Minister to grant a one-off day off in the event of the Three Lions beating Italy at Wembley on Sunday night.

It reads: “Sunday 8pm is a difficult time for families to plan to be together for the event – knowing we have an additional day off the next day would significantly help this.

“Furthermore, a historic win should be celebrated. It would be expected for the winning team to parade the trophy, and a bank holiday would be a perfect time to do this. Also, English people would naturally want to continue to enjoy the win, giving the retail and leisure industry a much-needed opportunity to make up lost revenues.”

The number of signatures passed the 300,000 mark on Friday morning.

England’s men’s football team are now just one historic win away from their first major silverware since 1966 after their 2-1 triumph over Denmark on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson, who watched the game at Wembley with his wife Carrie, has wished the national men’s team the “very best” ahead of the final, but said granting a bank holiday would be “tempting fate”.

Fans watching England v Denmark
Fans let off flares as they celebrate England’s extra-time win over Denmark in Piccadilly Circus, central London, on Wednesday night (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A Liberal Democrat peer has even called for a statue of Gareth Southgate next to Boudica in Westminster if he leads England to Euro 2020 glory.

Lord Thomas of Gresford joked that victory in Sunday’s final would represent England’s first competitive win over Italy on English soil since the Celtic Queen Boudica defeated occupying Roman forces in Colchester almost 2,000 years ago.

Meanwhile, Uefa is dealing with an incident involving a laser pen being shone in Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel’s face before he saved Harry Kane’s penalty in the Wednesday match at Wembley.

Uefa has charged England over the incident, while Scotland Yard said it is not yet a police matter.

England v Denmark – UEFA Euro 2020 – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie in the stands during England’s Euro 2020 semi-final match against Denmark at Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA)

Downing Street has said it will set out any celebrations such as a victory parade for the England team “in due course”, but has not confirmed whether plans for a potential bank holiday are in motion behind the scenes.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of Sunday’s match. Clearly we want England to go all the way and win the final, and then we will set out our plans in due course.”

Jubilant fans created their own ad-hoc celebrations on Wednesday following England’s historic win, with thousands taking to beer gardens, pubs and streets across the country.

The British Beer and Pub Association estimated they bought an estimated 6.8 million pints during the match – equating to more than 50,000 pints a minute during the course of two hours.

Fans watching England v Denmark
Fans in Trafalgar Square celebrating England’s second goal against Denmark on Wednesday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Downing Street also said employers who are able to should be flexible about allowing staff to go in to work late on Monday or take the day off if England win.

The match will be over by 10pm if it is settled in normal time.

However, the prospect of extra time and a penalty shoot-out mean the game could finish closer to 11pm.

Mr Johnson has already said pubs can stay open until 11.15pm this Sunday to reduce the risk of customers being told to leave before the match ends.

Wednesday’s victory over Denmark – England men’s first semi-finals triumph in 55 years – went to extra time and finished at around 10.45pm.

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