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Anti-Big Ben Brexit bong movement unveils pro-EU banner on White Cliffs of Dover

A Big Ben Brexit bong counter-movement has unveiled a gigantic pro-EU banner on the White Cliffs of Dover.

The campaign orchestrated by Liberal Democrat MEP Antony Hook smashed its £5,500 fundraising target after being launched on Friday.

KMTV reports from the scene of the 'We still love EU' banner

So far 866 supporters have pledged £14,064 and at 11am today the message - the size of two squash courts - was unfurled.

It comes amid a row over whether Big Ben should chime to mark Brexit on January 31 - which has led to pledges totalling £265,450 to cover the costs of using the famous London landmark to mark the event.

Antony Hook said: “The phenomenal success of this appeal demonstrates how passionately people in this country feel about sending a positive message to the EU.

“In addition to the money raised, we have received over 250 messages of support, expressing sadness that we are leaving the European Union but also celebrating the close, co-operative relationship we have built with our European partners.

Bird's eye view of the bannet at Abbot's Cliff. Picture; the office of Antony Hook MEP
Bird's eye view of the bannet at Abbot's Cliff. Picture; the office of Antony Hook MEP
A close-up of the gigantic pro-EU banner
A close-up of the gigantic pro-EU banner

"This banner is much bigger than leave or remain. It is about communicating our appreciation for our nearest neighbours and our hope that we will continue to have the best possible relationship with them in the future.

Although we have reached our initial target, we are going to continue to raise money and have more exciting plans to make sure that our uplifting message is heard right across the continent."

The banner was placed on Abbott's Cliff between Capel-le-Ferne and Samphire Hoe.

Meanwhile a rival plan for a banner celebrating the UK’s departure from the EU has been launched by the Dover and Deal Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke.

Political editor Paul Francis tells KMTV about the 'battle of the banners'

She wants to hang a banner with the slogan “We Love The UK” and has also proposed a fireworks display that can be seen from France.

The rival proposal would replace the pro-EU message called for by Remain campaigners.

Mrs Elphicke said: “People here on the White Cliffs voted overwhelmingly to leave Europe and reclaim our place as an independent nation in the world.

"This is a moment where we can look forward with ambition to the Britain we can build in the decades to come. That’s why the message we should be beaming onto the White Cliffs is that ‘We love the UK’.”

Dover voted heavily in favour of Brexit by 62% to 38% making it one of Kent’s most Euro-sceptic areas.

It is not the first time that campaigners have sought to exploit the White Cliffs to promote a pro-EU message.

In April, an SOS signal to the EU was projected onto the cliffs of Dover by anti-Brexit protesters.

Activist group Led By Donkeys have beamed a huge SOS message onto the White Cliffs of Dover calling for a Brexit extension and a confirmation vote.

And a huge figure of Theresa May appeared overnight at the landmark in 2017 - but it was unclear who was behind the stunt.

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