So What Exactly Is Happening At This Brexit Celebration On Friday?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 54 months ago

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Last Updated 30 January 2020

So What Exactly Is Happening At This Brexit Celebration On Friday?
An artist's impression of the party of a lifetime. Churchill has not confirmed he'll be there, Big Ben won't. Original images: Shutterstock

What does the party of a lifetime look like? It boasts Ann Widdecombe and that bloke from Wetherspoons as the entertainment. It'll pump on relentlessly for two and a quarter wild hours, chucking out at 11.15pm prompt. Booze is strictly prohibited. Weather forecast: rain.

Since Leave Means Leave's victorious lobbying to secure a Brexit blowout in Parliament Square on the moment the UK leaves the EU this Friday, it's been coy about what the actual plan is. The official website is still a holding page strewn with red, white and blue cyber confetti, and little else. Surely the thousands streaming into the capital's centre on Friday deserve better than this. What they've basically been told is "Party Means Party."

We now know the VIP guest list. We also know that Big Ben can't make it. Instead it'll be represented by a cover version, played off Spotify and piped through Julia Hartley-Brewer's laptop speakers. Boris Johnson will be a no-show too, as he's extremely tied up, at a different party hosted a good 200 metres down the road.

Headlining the pyramid stage then (assuming there's a stage), Nigel Farage will recite colonial Kipling poems with all the decorum and tact of our PM. He'll be ably supported by the likes of the nation's dancing sweetheart, Ann Widdecombe, plus Richard Tice, the only person we've ever known to get excited about the prospect of not catching Eurostars.

Tim Martin, of being roundly humiliated by Owen Jones fame, is another confirmed VIP and will presumably be manning the beer tent. Except alcohol is prohibited from Parliament Square, so there will be no beer tent.

Tim Martin has a pub (with his face on the sign), moments away from the party. All back to his for a free bar afterwards then?

To be honest, we've had to second guess all of the above because no details are forthcoming. We've not heard any more on those fireworks, bands, comedians or indeed, the mysterious 'mementos' that'll be handed out to each and every partygoer β€” although surely two joyful hours in the company of Mark Francois is the kind of memory that'll chisel itself into your psyche for all time, making any other kind of memento pale in comparison. (Mark Francois hasn't confirmed he's coming, so don't get too excited.)

Parliament Square is a stage for democracy, which is why, in recent years, it's hosted unflattering blimps of both London's mayor Sadiq Khan, and Nigel Farage's bestest chum Donald Trump. If people want to gather with their Union flags to mark Brexit, they can bally well do it. But someone should let them know all the pertinents, what exactly they're signing up for.

If you are attending, be there at 9pm sharp, as the Leave Means Leave website says. Or 9.30pm as the Leave Means Leave Twitter post says.

Londonist has approached Leave Means Leave for information on Friday's party