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London's Iconic Big Ben Could Chime to Mark Brexit Day on January 31

The Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, is the most photographed building in Britain. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Ben STANSALL)

The Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, is the most photographed building in Britain. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Ben STANSALL)

The famous clock-cum-bell on the banks of the river Thames, housed within the Elizabeth Tower of the Houses of Parliament complex, has not been ringing out its regular bongs during an ongoing renovation programme.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: December 22, 2019, 6:56 PM IST
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London: London's iconic Big Ben is likely to mark Britain's exit from the European Union by ringing out chimes on January 31, the Brexit deadline, according to a media report.

The famous clock-cum-bell on the banks of the river Thames, housed within the Elizabeth Tower of the Houses of Parliament complex, has not been ringing out its regular bongs during an ongoing renovation programme. However, it can be temporarily revived to mark special events by the approval of a committee headed by House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.

"It will be a significant moment and people will do different things, and if the House wishes to do that [Big Ben chimes], so be it. I certainly won't personally block anything," Speaker Hoyle told 'The Sunday Telegraph'.

Last year, the committee chaired by Hoyle's predecessor John Bercow had blocked a bid for Big Ben to chime on the UK's originally intended Brexit Day of March 29, 2019.

More than 50 MPs have signed an early day motion (EDM) calling for Big Ben to ring out at 11 pm on January 31. The 160-year-old Elizabeth Tower, which houses the bell popularly known as Big Ben, is currently undergoing a whopping 60-million pounds refurbishment, and its regular chimes have been silenced to protect the hearing of construction workers.

The bell was last rung this year in November to mark Remembrance Sunday which honours soldiers killed in the World Wars and is next set to ring out at midnight on December 31 to mark the New Year.
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