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Tory MP wants fireworks display visible from France and ‘We love the UK’ banner on White Cliffs of Dover for Brexit day

Conrad Duncan
Natalie Elphicke with her husband Charlie, who stepped down as an MP to fight sexual assault allegations: PA

A Conservative MP has called for Brexit to be marked next week with a firework display that can be seen from France and a huge banner hanging from the White Cliffs of Dover.

Natalie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, has urged the UK to celebrate its exit from the European Union by hanging a banner displaying the words “We love the UK” on 31 January.

The newly elected Conservative has suggested the banner should replace a rival 150 sq m “We still love EU” banner which is being crowdfunded by Liberal Democrat MEP Antony Hook.

“Sadly, we can’t stop Brexit now, but we can send a strong message to the world that we still love Europe,” Mr Hook said in a statement announcing the proposal.

The crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly £14,000 and easily passed its £5,500 target to fund the pro-Europe banner.

Ms Elphicke has said her proposal is an opportunity to use the Brexit date “to share our positive message about Britain and the future we can make”.

“This is a moment where we can look forward with ambition to the Britain we can build in the decades to come,” the MP said.

“That’s why the message we should be beaming onto the White Cliffs is that ‘We love the UK’. Because we are proud to become an independent nation again.”

Mr Hook has promised to spend the surplus funds on “an exciting extra demonstration” for the date.

The Conservative politician’s call follows a failed attempt by pro-Brexit MPs to make Big Ben bong on Brexit day.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister, had suggested crowdfunding the £500,000 bill for restoring Big Ben to working order for the date, but his proposal backfired when parliamentary authorities said they could not accept money raised by the public.

“The House of Commons authorities have set out that there may be potential difficulties in accepting money from public donations,” a spokesperson for Mr Johnson said last week.

Instead, a clock counting down to the moment Britain leaves the EU will be projected onto the outside of No 10 and a light show will illuminate buildings around Whitehall.

The Independent has approached Ms Elphicke for further comment on her proposal.

The MP succeeded her husband, Charlie Elphicke, in the 2019 general election after he stepped down following allegations of sexual assault, which he has denied.

Additional reporting by PA

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