Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Boris unveils plans for massive Brexit day celebration to mark freedom from EU’s shackles

And the final hour before the country’s formal exit at 11pm on January 31 will be counted down second-by-second on a massive digital clock projected onto the facade of 10 Downing Street. Details of the package measures to mark Brexit Day were released by Mr Johnson’s officials yesterday in an attempt to quell the row over the refusal of Commons chiefs to allow Big Ben to bong at the historic moment of departure.

A Government source said: “The Prime Minister will make a big address to the nation on the evening of our departure from the EU around the theme of healing. 

“He is very keen to emphasise the continuing close bond of the Union between the four parts of the UK.”

Officials said the Government wanted to mark what will be “a significant moment in our history” without a triumphalist tone that could exacerbate the divisions between Remain and Leave supporters.

Mr Johnson will kick off the Government programme for marking Brexit Day with a Cabinet meeting held in the North of England to highlight his vision of spreading prosperity and opportunity around the entire UK after quitting the EU.

Ministers will discuss initiatives to “reunite communities”, how to “level up” the spread of wealth across the country and “look forward to the country that we want to build over the next decade.”

Dozens of Union flags will be flown around Parliament Square and from Government buildings throughout the day.

A commemorative Brexit 50p coin will also come into circulation on Brexit day. 

The Prime Minister is expected to be one of the first to receive the new coin, which will be inscribed with the words: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” and the Brexit day.

More than a million Brexit coins were minted last year but were melted down after the initial March 29 Brexit date was cancelled.

In the evening, the Prime Minister will make his speech on his vision of the country’s future outside the EU. His address is expected to be broadcast live on television.

In the final hour of the UK’s EU membership, Government buildings around Whitehall will be illuminated with spotlights and a light show will be triggered in Downing Street including projecting the countdown clock on the black bricks of Number 10.

While the street is closed to the public for security, the Prime Minister’s aides hope the clock will be broadcast on television. 

They also expect broadcasters to use archive recordings of Big Ben’s chimes to mark the departure moment.

Aides hope the Government efforts to mark the departure from the EU will draw attention away from a party in Parliament Square organised by Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

Organisers of the event have vowed to bring along a sound system to replay the sound of Big Ben’s chimes at 11pm.

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