Boris Johnson unveils Brexit celebration plans as prominent Remainers urge PM not to 'rub our noses in it'

Jacob Jarvis
AP

Boris Johnson has unveiled plans to celebrating the fruition of his "get Brexit done" pledge as Britain departs the EU on January 31.

The prime minister has spoke of his desire to "look ahead with confidence" next Friday, when Britain formally departs the bloc.

To mark the date, Mr Johnson will deliver a special address to the nation and Downing Street will be illuminated with a light display.

This is said to be designed to symbolise the strength and unity of the UK's four nations.

Union flags will line Parliament Square and the Mall while Government buildings on Whitehall will be lit up in red, white and blue throughout the evening.

A countdown clock will be projected onto Number 10's black bricks from 10pm on January 31. Big Ben, however, is not set to ring, as many Brexiteers had desired.

To coincided with the date, the new commemorative 50p coin will also go into circulation.

Mr Johnson said: "Next Friday marks an important moment in the history of our United Kingdom.

"No matter how you voted in 2016, it is the time to look ahead with confidence to the global, trail-blazing country we will become over the next decade and heal past divisions.

"That is what I will be doing on January 31 and I urge everyone across the UK to do the same."

Britain will formally depart the EU on January 31 (AFP via Getty Images)

However, despite his message to all sides of the debate, his plans have not been met with enthusiasm by those who did not back Brexit.

Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine told the Observer: "Brexit is the most divisive issue of modern times. Those of us who fought to remain did so sincerely in the interests of our country and subsequent generations who we believe should be influential at the heart of Europe.

"I think it is unwise of the Government to rub our noses in it by celebrating our defeat at this hour, whilst talking about unifying the country."

Acting Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey joined the criticism.

He said Mr Johnson should be using public money to unite the nation, "not gloat with an expensive party".

While the Scottish National Party's leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, told the paper that "leaving the greatest postwar peace project ever created" was "not something we should be celebrating".

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