The government is still reportedly pushing ahead with plans for a controversial post-Brexit festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, despite Boris Johnson being urged to drop it.
The event, which was first touted under Theresa May’s government, was described as a showcase for “the UK’s unique strengths in creativity and innovation” – with comparisons to the 1951 festival of Britain.
Despite being dubbed “The festival of Brexit” by critics, The Guardian reports that Dean Creamer, a delivery director for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, has been tasked with planning the £120m project.
Set to take place in 2022, the event will reportedly deliver an “exciting programme” of arts, culture, design and technology in the same year as the Queen’s platinum jubilee and the 100th anniversary of the BBC.
Imagine a festival so perverse, it celebrates the very thing that causes us to suffer – and in doing so, makes the problem even worse by wasting money where none need be.https://t.co/Oa8uQr0Lvg
— Best For Britain (@BestForBritain) November 5, 2019
One museum executive told The Guardian: ““A lot of museums are quite wary of the whole thing. There’s also a sense that if it is a festival of Brexit then it turns into an ethical issue. Half of the audiences would be completely hostile to Brexit.”
Responding to a freedom of information request by the Guardian, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) also confirmed it had established a festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2022 programme board, which met regularly to discuss the event.
Critics also reportedly fear that the event could stoke tensions in Northern Ireland, taking place on the 100th anniversary of the start of the Irish civil war.
However, the report adds that any significant progress on the event is unlikely to place until after December’s General Election.