Posts Tagged ‘London’

Boris Johnson saves face over failed bid for Big Ben Brexit chime

PM plans to project a giant clock face onto Downing Street on evening of 31 January

Boris Johnson has announced plans to project a giant clock face on to Downing Street on the evening of 31 January, in a bid to move on after a backlash over his failure to get Big Ben to bong for Brexit.

Diehard Brexiters, including Conservative MP Mark Francois and Brexit party MEP Richard Tice, had reacted furiously to news that Big Ben would not ring out to mark the UK officially quitting the EU at the end of this month.

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Big Ben unlikely to chime on Brexit day, No 10 indicates

PM is focusing on other events amid ‘difficulties’ in accepting donations, says spokesman

The hopes of diehard Brexiters to hear the chimes of Big Ben sound at the moment the UK leaves the EU appear to have finally been dashed by Downing Street, as it indicated this will not happen even if the public raises the £500,000 needed to pay for it.

According to Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Commons authorities – who warned on Tuesday of the high cost of completing the complex restoration of the clocktower – have said there could be difficulties in accepting public donations.

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The Guardian view on Brexit bells: striking the wrong note | Editorial

Proposals that Big Ben should chime and church bells ring to mark Britain’s departure from the EU should not be given the time of day

In his 1961 novel Unconditional Surrender, Evelyn Waugh gave a typically waspish verdict on the Festival of Britain, staged 10 years earlier. “To celebrate the opening of a happier decade,” he wrote, “the government decreed a Festival. Monstrous constructions appeared on the south bank of the Thames ... but there was little popular exuberance among the straitened people.”

Given his Tory sympathies, and distaste for the egalitarian spirit that swept the country after the war, Waugh would have knocked anything that the Labour government of the time came up with. The festival, masterminded by Herbert Morrison, was in fact well-attended and a qualified success. It left a permanent legacy in the shape of the Royal Festival Hall. We will have to wait and see whether Festival 2022, conceived by Theresa May as a post-Brexit jamboree and modelled on the 1951 event, makes a similar mark.

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EU trade chief foresees ‘financial services for fishing’ Brexit bargain

Commissioner says Europe will seek fishery access and UK will want concessions for City

The EU’s trade commissioner has suggested there could be a last-minute trade-off with Brussels offering the City of London access to European markets in return for European fleets retaining their fishing rights in British waters.

The UK’s financial services sector will lose its automatic right to serve Europe-based clients at the end of the transition period and the EU will need to negotiate access to UK waters for its fishing boats.

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