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Brexiteer calls for annual 'UK day' bank holiday near EU referendum date

By Sophie Morris, PA Political Staff

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 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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