Archbishop of York calls for Wales and Scotland to sing God Save the Queen before sports matches

The Archbishop of York has called for Scotland and Wales to sing God Save the Queen before they play England in international sports games.

The Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrel

Stephen Cottrell has said that whenever these nations play England, they could “belt out” their individual anthems and “then sing our National Anthem together and love our neighbour”.

Writing in The Telegraph, he said that when Scotland took on Gareth Southgate's side at Wembley in Euro 2020, they “should surely have sung one national anthem”.

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The second most senior bishop in the Church of England also discussed the meaning of “Englishness” and the impact devolution and Brexit has had on national identities.

In his column, he said many English people “feel left behind by metropolitan elites in London and the South East” and by devolved governments and “strengthened regional identities” in Scotland and Wales.

“Their heart felt cry to be heard is often disregarded, wilfully misunderstood or patronised as backwardly xenophobic,” he wrote.

“But what if this is about the loss of identity? No longer British, temperamentally never really European, and definitely outside the wealth and opportunities of London, English people want to know what has happened to their country.

"These questions of identity and purpose have never really been addressed.”

The archbishop called for an “expansive vision of what it means to be English as part of the UK” and said it will “help us rediscover a national unity more fractured than I have ever known it in my lifetime”.

He added: “Let’s play to our strengths: our shared history within these islands; our strong regional identities going back centuries.

"Let’s also look to the other things that bind us together as English and British, modernising and strengthening them rather than neglecting them or imagining they are the problem.”