By Andrew MacAskill

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday proposed a crowdfunding marketing campaign to permit Massive Ben bell in parliament’s landmark clock tower to ring out when Britain is because of depart the European Union.

The 13.7-tonne bell has been largely silent since 2017 whereas renovation work is carried out on the Elizabeth Tower which homes it, sounding just for essential occasions corresponding to New Yr’s Eve celebrations.

The prime minister was talking after a Home of Commons Fee dismissed the proposal for the bell to sound for Brexit as a result of it will be too costly.

Johnson stated it will value 500,000 kilos ($648,450) to permit Massive Ben to sound at 2300 GMT on Jan. 31, the second Brexit is formally on account of happen. However he stated folks may donate money to pay for it.

“We’re working up a plan so folks can bung a bob for a Massive Ben bong,” Johnson advised the BBC in an interview.

“As all people is aware of, Massive Ben is being refurbished, they appear to have taken the clapper away. So we have to restore the clapper in an effort to bong Massive Ben on Brexit night time. And that’s costly.”

The prime minister’s suggestion comes after a gaggle of pro-Brexit members of parliament spearheaded a marketing campaign to chime Britain out of the EU, sounding the demise knell for nearly half a century of integration with the bloc.

However an try and have it enshrined in legislation that Massive Ben would chime for Brexit failed final week.

The celebrations for Brexit day are set to divide Britain as soon as once more – a becoming conclusion to greater than three years of offended debate about whether or not to go away the world’s largest buying and selling bloc.

Whereas supporters of leaving the bloc will have a good time with events, there will likely be little pleasure in houses of pro-Europeans.

Brexit Social gathering chief Nigel Farage is planning to host a celebration in Parliament Sq. on Jan. 31 the place supporters of leaving the EU would be capable to hear Massive Ben ring out.

Greater than 12,000 folks utilized for tickets within the first day after they have been marketed final week.

Massive Ben’s tower, within the Palace of Westminster, has been below renovation since 2017 and the work isn’t on account of be accomplished till 2021.

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; enhancing by Michael Holden and Mike Collett-White)

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