Big Ben to bong to mark end of Brexit transition period
- Credit: Archant
Big Ben is to be reconnected so that it can ring in at 11pm on New Year’s Eve – the moment the UK leaves the European Union’s single market and customs union.
The famous bell has been largely silent since 2017 due to repairs on the clock and Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower which houses it, only being reconnected for significant occasions.
The bell, which weighs 13.7 tonnes, last rang on November 11 to mark Armistice Day.
Members of the public have been urged to stay away from Westminster on New Year’s Eve due to coronavirus restrictions with Boris Johnson saying “no-one should be gathering in large groups to see in the new year”.
But now the bell will be tested in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve to ensure it can produce its 12 bongs when the clock strikes midnight - as well as 11pm at the end of the Brexit transition period.
You may also want to watch:
The repairs meant Tory Brexiteer MP Mark Francois was unable to fulfil his ambition to get the clock to bong at 11pm on January 31 when the UK officially left the EU.
An appeal to "bung a bob for a Big Ben bong" - initially supported by Boris Johnson - raised £272,770 before Francois accepted defeat.
The money in the end was donated to Help for Heroes, but not before Francois suggested he would go up and 'bong' it himself with a hammer.
- 1 This chumocracy is costing our country
- 2 Nigel Farage loses nearly 50,000 followers after Twitter suspends QAnon accounts
- 3 Fifteen ways to fix Britain
- 4 Michel Barnier tells UK to be 'very careful' in Brexit diplomatic status row
- 5 Bob Geldof takes swipe at No 10 saying 'lying is second nature' to them
- 6 Independent SAGE adviser gives scathing assessment of Priti Patel's £800 Covid fines
- 7 Jacob Rees-Mogg says it's 'all the EU's fault' musicians can't tour Europe
- 8 George Osborne hopes for Brexit dividend
- 9 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
- 10 Holyrood in talks with EU to extend Erasmus scheme to Scottish students
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.