The government has defied fresh calls to scrap the Festival of Brexit – due to take place in 2022 at a cost to taxpayers of £120 million – after a petition was launched to get the event cancelled.
A spokesperson has claimed it will give the country a chance to “champion all that is great about the UK”.
But campaigners claim that the money would be better spent helping the UK recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Lib Dem MP Jamie Stone, Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “Britain’s culture calamity is real thanks to Brexit, yet the taxpayer is being asked to cough up £120 million for bread and circuses.
“Frankly, I thought this Brexit festival was sick before a pandemic – but given we’ve got kids starving, carers suffering on a minimum wage and millions of people out of work and locked out of financial support, well, it’s testament to how skewed the Tory moral compass really is.
“I hope people will support my call to cancel this insulting Brexit festival – regardless of how they voted in the referendum – and for the money to be redirected to a Covid-19 recovery fund.”
Almost 3,000 people have already signed the petition.
But a spokesperson for the government said: “The nationwide festival will give us a fantastic opportunity to champion all that is great about the UK.
“It will be a tremendous showcase for our creativity and innovation, which will not only celebrate our values and identities but will also help attract new inward business and investment.”