UK

Did Big Ben bong for Brexit? Row erupts after famous bell rang out today

A row erupted today over whether Big Ben bonged for Brexit.

One MP claims the famous bell, which has been mostly quiet since renovation works began in 2017, rang out to mark Britain’s historic trade deal with the EU.

The trade agreement, which looks set to come into force on January 1, is being debated in Parliament today.

But the Brexit bell claim has been knocked back by some, who instead say it was preparation for New Year’s Eve.

Others suggested the midnight bong on New Year’s Eve could mark both the start of a new year and the start of the new trade deal.

One MP claims the famous bell, which has been mostly quiet since renovation works (pictured) began in 2017, rang out to mark Britain’s historic trade deal with the EU.

The row erupted after Eurosceptic Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh posted a video of Big Ben today, and claimed it had rang out for Brexit

The row erupted after Eurosceptic Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh posted a video of Big Ben today, and claimed it had rang out for Brexit

The claim was quickly disputed by some, including journalism project Parly, which said: 'It’s actually part of the preparations for New Year’s Eve.'

The claim was quickly disputed by some, including journalism project Parly, which said: ‘It’s actually part of the preparations for New Year’s Eve.’ 

In a later tweet, quoting Tory MP Mark Francois, they said: 'On New Year’s Eve we will finally leave European Union forever so perhaps Big Ben will bong for Brexit after all.'

In a later tweet, quoting Tory MP Mark Francois, they said: ‘On New Year’s Eve we will finally leave European Union forever so perhaps Big Ben will bong for Brexit after all.’

The row erupted after Eurosceptic Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh posted a video of Big Ben today, and claimed it had rang out for Brexit.

The Gainsborough MP said: ‘As I walked by the House of Commons today at noon I heard a rare sound. Big Ben bongs for Brexit.

‘Deal done. Well done.’

But it was quickly disputed by some, including journalism project Parly, which said: ‘It’s actually part of the preparations for New Year’s Eve.’

In a later tweet, quoting Tory MP Mark Francois, they said: ‘On New Year’s Eve we will finally leave European Union forever so perhaps Big Ben will bong for Brexit after all.’ 

The row comes after it was announced by the House of Commons authority earlier this month that Big Ben will be reconnected so that it can ring in the new year.

The famous bell has been largely silent since 2017 due to repairs on the clock and Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower which houses it, only being reconnected for significant occasions.

The bell, which weighs 13.7 tonnes, last rang on November 11 to mark Armistice Day.

Members of the public have been urged to stay away from Westminster on New Year’s Eve due to coronavirus restrictions.

The row comes after it was announced by the House of Commons authority earlier this month that Big Ben will be reconnected so that it can ring in the new year

The row comes after it was announced by the House of Commons authority earlier this month that Big Ben will be reconnected so that it can ring in the new year

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said 'no one should be gathering in large groups to see in the new year'. Pictured: The House of Parliament

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ‘no one should be gathering in large groups to see in the new year’. Pictured: The House of Parliament

It comes after plans for the traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks usually held at the London Eye were cancelled by the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan in September.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ‘no one should be gathering in large groups to see in the new year’.

The announcement will be welcome news for Brexiteers who, earlier this year, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to have Big Ben ring to mark the UK’s legal departure from the EU.

Supporters had hoped the bell would ring at 11pm on January 31 this year.

But the House of Commons estimated the cost of bringing the bell back into commission would be £500,000.

And the government effectively washed its hands of the proposal, instead focusing on a light show at Downing Street and an address to the nation by Mr Johnson.

The campaign, led by Stand Up 4 Brexit, raised £272,000 which was eventually donated to charity when the project was deemed no longer feasible.

Now, as Big Ben is set to ring in the new year, it will also mark the end of the Brexit Transition Period – and the start of the new trade deal.

Today the historic agreement, which was officially announced on Christmas Eve by Mr Johnson, passed through the House of Commons by 521 votes to 73.

The deal has already been agreed by diplomats from the 27 EU member states. It is expected to be looked at by MEPs in Brussels in the New Year. 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button