Her Majesty’s Government is set to encourage councils and community groups to fly the Union flag to mark the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on 31 January.
Ministers are currently preparing for a package of statements set to announce plans to mark the moment Britain leaves the EU at the end of this month, the talk around town in Westminster includes a potential commemorative coin and also Big Ben ringing out to mark the occasion as has been suggested by some MPs.
It has been suggested that funds could be made available from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to help local councils and other groups buy and display the Union flag. A Westminster source said: “It’s prompted by Brexit but is also meant to celebrate national identity more broadly.”
The move to encourage communities to fly the Union flag with pride was backed by senior Conservative backbencher Sir John Hayes who made a speech in the House of Commons last week saying: “In celebration of this important occasion in our nation’s history, I wonder if (Mr Barclay) would arrange for Union flags to be flown from all public buildings across our kingdom.
“That would be a fitting tribute to the decision the British people made to leave the European Union, and we will remain unafraid of our patriotism, unabashed about the departure, and unwavering in our determination to make our future even greater.”
Responding to his colleague, the Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay replied: “I know my parliamentary neighbour, like me, always takes pride in seeing our Union Jack flown, and any occasion to do so is one that I think he and I would always celebrate.
“But I can’t be alone, given (Sir John’s) penchant for poetry, in thinking perhaps such an occasion may inspire him in due course to write something fitting for such an occasion.”
Staunch Brexiteer Mark Francois is leading the push to get the bell restarted, with Lord Ashcroft offering to pay the £120,000 cost. Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has said he would back the scheme if MPs voted in favour.
A Downing Streets spokesman said that no final decisions had yet been made on how the occasion would be marked. According to reports, some in the Government fear having flashy events in case they upset or alienate those who still wish to remain in the European Union.
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This content was sourced from Unity News Network.