Brexiteer Peter Bone wants EU referendum date to be made Bank Holiday

The Friday closest to the EU referendum date should be made a bank holiday, a Brexiteer has said.

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.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg described Mr Bone’s proposed UK Day as “republican sounding”, and suggested that a June bank holiday to mark the Queen’s birthday would “be nicer”.

Raising the idea during business questions, Mr 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.”

Mr Bone added: “It seems to me that we should follow the example of some of our European neighbours. I noticed that in Germany there are nine bank holidays, France 11 bank holidays, Italy 11 bank holidays, the Netherlands 12 bank holidays, Belgium 15 bank holidays. Why not take a leaf out of their book?

“We only have eight in this country. Why not have an extra bank holiday.

“The advantage of that is that we can celebrate our sovereignty at the same time as celebrating our nations of the United Kingdom.

“And that will be a permanent reward, every June people will have the day off and say thank goodness for that Brexit vote.”

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Mr 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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