Brexiteers to press ahead with plans for a Brexit museum despite coronavirus sparking delays

PUBLISHED: 10:35 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:49 17 August 2020

A new 50 pence at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Pontyclun, Wales, during production of the new 50p Brexit coin, which bears the inscription 'Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations' and the date the UK leaves the EU; Ben Birchall

A new 50 pence at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Pontyclun, Wales, during production of the new 50p Brexit coin, which bears the inscription 'Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations' and the date the UK leaves the EU; Ben Birchall

PA Archive/PA Images

Organisers are pushing ahead with plans to build a Brexit museum this autumn despite coronavirus sparking delays.

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Planners have already begun appealing for people to donate memorabilia remembering the historic vote.

Among the items being called for is the 1975 pro-European flag jumper worn by former Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher on her election trail and the pen used to sign the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

A suit worn by Brexit’s poster child, Nigel Farage, could also be donated to the museum which is being earmarked for construction in one of three Leave-voting areas, the Mail on Sunday reported.

The collection aims to “tell the story of the Eurosceptic Movement and its people across the decades” and hopes people will look through their “collections, bottom drawers, shoeboxes, and troves” to find items to include in the museum and archive.

Former Brexit Party spokesman Gawain Towler, who is working on the project, said: “Things have been quiet, partially because we still had to fight for Brexit, and then we’ve had COVID.

“But as the country starts to wake up and it looks like we are finally approaching the exit door of the 40-year failed experiment, we are in a better position to look to the future without forgetting the past.”

He told the Mail on Sunday the project “exists to remember the little people in pub meetings up and down the country who kept the flame of independence and sovereignty alive during the dark years”.

But at a time when museum are being told to remain shut or observe strict social distancing rules, many have questioned the timing of the move.

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Iain Boatman wrote: “A Brexit museum, when a lot of other museums are struggling to survive, really does take the piss.”

Dr Grainne McEntree mocked the plans: “Finally, a good idea! A Brexit Museum, so future generations can see and understand what led to the demise of a nation.”

Tom Duran quipped: “To be truly faithful to the vision, the Museum of Brexit would need incredibly shoddy architecture so it’s liable to fall down at any minute.”

But there were some supporters. Roland Smith wrote: “Unpopular opinion perhaps but... given Brexit is such a big event, a museum or exhibition of some sort could be quite interesting.”

The museum’s website says the exhibition aims to tell “the history of what we know today as Brexit” for “academic research”.

“It’s the story of how the UK - in official terms - ‘pooled’ (or surrendered), and then reclaimed, our sovereignty.”

It added: “There are a lot of possible models for achieving these which have yet to be decided, depending on how big the collection turns out to be. In any event, the goal is creating something that will be still be around to reflect back on the 100th anniversary of the UK joining the EEC – in 2073.

“We won’t be around then. We also doubt the EU will still be around by then either. And if it is, it’ll be in a form that justified our leaving.”

Donors to the 2016 Leave campaign have been reportedly lined up to help fund the museum’s collection.

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