The Brexit festival, which the London government wants to celebrate the UK’s achievements thanks to the divorce from the European Union, is a “waste of money” and destined to be a “failure”. The strong disapproval of the event, which began only this month, and will run through October, comes from the same House of Commons MPs who criticized the administration in a report prepared by the Restricted Committee on Media, Sports and Culture. CEO of Boris Johnson for the £120m project.
The event is officially known as “Unboxed: Creativity in the UK”, but government figures including the Brexit Opportunities Minister, and one of the early advocates of divorce from Brussels, Jacob Rees-Mogg, called it the “Brexit Festival”. MEPs criticized the fact that even the final name of the event was not revealed before October 2021, a few months after it began, because ministers “did not know what it was”. In an earlier version of her brand, the event was known as ‘Festival UK * 2022’, a name marked by an asterisk that made some turn their noses up.
Far from the name, parliamentarians concluded that the project is “mysterious” and always changes its appearance. The idea was first green-lighted by then-Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018, with the stated purpose of “showing what makes our country great” when Britain left the European Union. The project has changed hands several times since then and has evolved into the Unboxed Festival, which kicked off this month with a light show in Paisley to celebrate the connections between humanity and the universe, and which will tour Luton, Caernarfon and Hull. Ten projects are on the agenda, including an art installation on an abandoned oil rig off Weston Super Mare, and several gastronomic events.
But the parliamentarians in their report questioned whether citizens understood the festival’s “vision” and even if they realized it was being implemented. “The desire to please everyone, everywhere, is a recipe for failure and an investment of £120m in something that the government itself does not, by its own admission, define as an ‘irresponsible use of public money’. , to read the hard report.
Julian Knight, the Conservative MP who chairs the Culture Select Committee, spoke of a “confused approach”. “While the UK has a good reputation on the world stage as a leading organizer of sporting and cultural events, there is no golden thread to tie them all together. Unless the government urgently addresses this lack of strategy and vision, it will continue to risk squandering the benefits it can bring,” the majority leader said. Such opportunities by wasting their hard-earned taxpayers’ money.
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