Peterborough MP Paul Bristow backs campaign to make Big Ben chime for Brexit
MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow has joined around 50 MPs in launching a campaign to make Big Ben chime in order to mark the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on January 31 at 11pm.
The group have all signed an Early Day Motion which calls upon the Speaker and Parliamentary authorities “to make arrangements to ensure that Big Ben will chime at 11pm (on January 31st) to provide an appropriate national focus for this truly historic event”.
An Early Day Motion is a Parliamentary device to raise the profile of an issue by calling for it to be debated in the House of Commons ‘at an early day’.
The famous chimes have been silenced in order to protect the hearing of construction workers who are currently renovating the Elizabeth Tower. However, the bell still currently rings for Remembrance Sunday and at New Year’s Eve and the MPs believe it should now do so for Brexit too.
Mr Bristow, a Leave supporter and a Conservative member of the European Research Group (ERG), said: “Which ever way you look at it, leaving the EU will be a momentous time for our country. Personally, I think this will be when our country comes back together and we move on. I think that this is a good reason to ring Big Ben.”
MP Mark Francois, who is heading up the campaign, added: “Article 50 specifies that we will leave the European Union at precisely 11pm GMT on January 31, 2020. Given that many people across the country will want to celebrate this event, they will obviously look to a clock to mark the occasion and it seems inconceivable to me and many of my colleagues that the clock should not be Big Ben.”