At present, it seems like the bells of the Elizabeth Tower will remain silent at 11pm on 31 January, as Britain leaves the EU. Although the new Speaker Lindsay Hoyle vowed at the end of last year to not block Big Ben ringing on Brexit day, an attempt to legislate the matter, by amending Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill, failed this week. Currently the clock tower is undergoing restoration and so only rings on special occasions, such as New Year’s Eve.
But one MP has not given up the fight for Big Ben to bong for Brexit. Today the Conservative MP Mark Francois stood up in the House of Commons to extoll the virtues of ringing the bell as Britain finally leaves the EU. Unfortunately though, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay confirmed that Big Ben’s bong was a matter for the House of Commons authorities. Mr S can only hope they take heed.
Watch the exchange here: