Brexiteer proposes bill to create ‘UK Day’ to mark EU referendum date

PUBLISHED: 14:08 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 30 January 2020

Conservative MP Peter Bone onstage in Parliament Square during a pro-Brexit event. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA.

Conservative MP Peter Bone onstage in Parliament Square during a pro-Brexit event. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

A Brexiteer is planning to introduce a bill to mark the closest Friday to the EU referendum with a bank holiday.

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Tory Peter Bone told MPs he plans to introduce a Bill calling for a "United Kingdom Day" on the Friday closest to June 23 every year.

Raising the idea during business questions, Bone said: "Next week I intend to introduce a private members' Bill to create a bank holiday on the Friday closest to June 23 every year to be called United Kingdom Day so that a country can celebrate sovereignty and the Union of our four great nations.

"Would the leader of the house arrange for a statement next week saying that the government will support this proposal, be neutral or oppose it?"

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg described Bone's proposed UK Day as "republican sounding", and suggested that a June bank holiday to mark the Queen's birthday would "be nicer".

Rees-Mogg said: "Well, oddly, that falls under my responsibility as lord president of the council because bank holidays come from royal proclamation.

"I wonder if I might steer my honourable friend, wouldn't it be nicer if we're going to ask for a new bank holiday in June to have, as some other countries have, a Queen's birthday holiday? Rather more in keeping with our traditions rather than the slightly, I don't know, republican sounding UK Day."

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