" The tunnel was opened by the Queen and president Mitterrand 3 years later. Success! It had only taken us 200 years! These days we can drive to stock up on cheap booze from the hypermarkets and with Northern France within commuter range from London, more and more Brits are buying houses there.
So, nearly a thousand years on from 1066, history has come a full circle. Once the Romans conquered us, now we are invading Normandy. But while the Channel Tunnel may have given us a land link to Europe, it hasn't really changed our island mentality and our fascination with the sea. And it was the sea that shaped our history.
So, there you have it, from Norman bards to Polish plumbers,how the sea has shaped our Britishness and our history. It brought us wave upon wave of invaders, who gave us our name, Britania, some brilliant new words and some extraordinary architecture. But it also gave us a thirst for adventure and also a taste for things like tea, curry and the good old potato. So, the sea brought us food, people and wealth - all things that you need to know about our history because they make us who we are - British."
The Roman invasion, the road system and the single currency