Dr Ioannis Glinavos, Course Leader of the Corporate Finance Law LLM course, has written an article for The Conversation about the possibility of crowdfunding money so that Big Ben can be used to commemorate Brexit.
Pro-Brexit MPs have suggested for the bell to ring on 31 January, when the UK is due to officially leave the EU. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that it would cost £500,000 to do so due to the landmark being under restoration. Some have suggested that crowdfunding be used to reach the target amount.
Dr Glinavos said about the idea: “So it would be possible for the Prime Minister to crowdfund a temporary suspension to the renovation of Big Ben as part of its Brexit-related fiesta at the end of January. There is nothing technically wrong with this, nor is there any legal impediment, so long as government spending (after funds have been raised) complies with relevant procurement rules.
“But should the government run with this idea and expand public fundraising to other, larger projects? It is always tempting to policymakers to fund their pet projects without raising taxes or increasing external borrowing. The executive may also have more flexibility in setting up such schemes, avoiding parliamentary scrutiny that applies to other types of funding.”