Campaigners have called on the government to ditch controversial efforts for a “Festival of Brexit” and use the money to fund coronavirus recovery efforts as the pandemic continues.
The 2022 event, which was first touted under Theresa May’s government, is described as a showcase for “the UK’s unique strengths in creativity and innovation” after leaving the European Union – with comparisons to the 1951 Festival of Britain.
While critics have consistently questioned the estimated £120m cost of the festival, planning took a step forward last year when organisers called for “daring, new and popular” ideas that will unite the nation.
Lib Dem MP Jamie Stone has now called on Boris Johnson‘s government to scrap the event entirely – and says it would be “sick” to spend the huge sum on the celebration during the pandemic.
Mr Stone, who is the Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for digital, culture, media and sport, has launched a petition calling on the government to cancel the post-EU cultural celebration – and has secured thousands of signatures.
Over 500 people have now said they want Boris to cancel the wasteful Brexit Festival.
Can we get up to 1,000? Sign here ? https://t.co/w89NaBlUhy
— Jamie Stone MP (@Jamie4North) January 23, 2021
The Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP said: “Britain’s culture calamity is real thanks to Brexit, yet the taxpayer is being asked to cough up £120million 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.”