Britain’s silenced Big Ben must bong for Brexit, MPs demand

LONDON (Reuters) – After years of wrangling over Britain’s exit from the European Union, lawmakers are now tackling the finer detail: should Big Ben chime to mark the exact moment of Brexit?

FILE PHOTO: A face of the Big Ben clock tower is seen a day before New Year celebrations, during which the bells of Big Ben will chime at midnight, despite otherwise being silent for the duration of the restoration works currently being undertaken at The Houses of Parliament, London, Britain December 30, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won a large majority at a December election, Britain’s EU exit at the end of January has become a certainty. Lawmakers will on Tuesday continue debating the legislation required to enact it.

A group of pro-Brexit members of parliament had put forward an amendment to that legislation, seeking to enshrine in law that Big Ben should be sounded at 2300 GMT on Jan. 31, the moment Brexit is officially due to take place.

The amendment was not selected for a vote on Tuesday, meaning the lawmakers first attempt to ensure Big Ben chimes for Brexit has failed. There are other routes they can use to win their


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