Will Osborne have a drink today?

The Chancellor may opt for something a little stronger than mineral water.

The chancellor is traditionally allowed a drink of alcohol during the Budget speech, and while Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling both preferred mineral water, George Osborne may feel that the circumstances call for something a little stronger.

If he's looking for ideas, here's what his predecessors ordered:

Whisky (Kenneth Clarke)

Gin and tonic (Geoffrey Howe)

Brandy and water (Benjamin Disraeli)

Sherry and beaten egg (William Gladstone)

Spritzer (Nigel Lawson)

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.