New Brexit bank holiday moves closer as Commons hurdle cleared

The creation of a new bank holiday to celebrate Brexit has cleared its first parliamentary hurdle.

Pro-Brexit Tory backbencher Peter Bone has led calls for a United Kingdom Day in June to celebrate Brexit, the Union and the Queen.

His proposed bank holiday would fall on the Friday nearest to June 23 – the date of the EU referendum in 2016 – and could also mark the Queen's birthday and coronation anniversary, both of which fall in June.

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Steve Bray of pro remain campaign group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) as protesters gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Pro remain campaign group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Pro remain campaign group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Pro remain campaign group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Pro remain campaign group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Pro remain campaign group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Pro remain campaign group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Media interview a pro remain campaigner from protest group Sodem (Stand of Defiance European Movement) outside the Houses of Parliament in London, UK on January 30, 2020. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union formally at 23:00 GMT on 31st January, 2020. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Pro-remain supporters holding placards protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Pro-remain supporters with EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Britain will officially leave the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 and will cease to be a state member. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will enter a transitional period and will abide by EU rules despite not being a member. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Pro-remain supporters protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Pro-remain supporters with EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Britain will officially leave the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 and will cease to be a state member. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will enter a transitional period and will abide by EU rules despite not being a member. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Pro-remain supporters holding EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Pro-remain supporters with EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Britain will officially leave the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 and will cease to be a state member. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will enter a transitional period and will abide by EU rules despite not being a member. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Pro-remain supporters holding placards protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Pro-remain supporters with EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Britain will officially leave the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 and will cease to be a state member. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will enter a transitional period and will abide by EU rules despite not being a member. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A pro-remain supporter holding a placard protests outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Pro-remain supporters with EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Britain will officially leave the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 and will cease to be a state member. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will enter a transitional period and will abide by EU rules despite not being a member. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A pro-remain supporter holding a placard protests outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Pro-remain supporters with EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Britain will officially leave the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 and will cease to be a state member. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will enter a transitional period and will abide by EU rules despite not being a member. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Union Jack flags hang at Parliament Square outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Pro-remain supporters with EU flags protest outside Houses of Parliament on the eve of Brexit Day. Britain will officially leave the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 and will cease to be a state member. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will enter a transitional period and will abide by EU rules despite not being a member. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A Mini car adorned with 'The Brexit Job' decal, parked in Place du Luxembourg in Brussels, Belguim, on the eve of the UK leaving the European Union.
Members of the Celtic Passion Pipe Band playing in Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, which is lit up in red, white and blue during a celebration and farewell on the eve of the UK leaving the European Union.
Members of the Celtic Passion Pipe Band playing in Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, which is lit up in red, white and blue during a celebration and farewell on the eve of the UK leaving the European Union.
Members of the Celtic Passion Pipe Band playing in Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, which is lit up in red, white and blue during a celebration and farewell on the eve of the UK leaving the European Union.
Anti-Brexit protesters outside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London.
Anti-Brexit protesters outside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London.
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The Wellingborough MP said an extra day off would boost workers' productivity as there is "a long gap" between the late May and the late August bank holidays in England, Scotland and Wales.

Introducing his June Bank Holiday (Creation) Bill, Mr Bone said Boris Johnson's Government had been "quite sniffy" about his proposals.

He added: "This has rather surprised and disappointed me. I can understand the former government having reservations, as they always saw the UK leaving the EU as a duty, not an opportunity.

"Whereas this Government wholeheartedly believes in it. So my question to them would be why not mark this great democratic event?"

To his detractors, Mr Bone said: "If there are a handful of people who reject all these things, well of course, they can always work on United Kingdom Day."

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There are currently eight bank holidays a year in England and Wales, nine in Scotland and 10 in Northern Ireland.

The Bill was introduced without a vote, with a second reading scheduled for June 26, which Mr Bone said would happen to be United Kingdom Day if it existed.

It has little chance of making further progress in its current form without Government backing.

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