A Vote Leave placard erected ahead of the 2016 EU referendum. (c) Oast House Archive, Creative Commons Archive

Poll: does Brexit need its own museum?

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 18.04.2018
Leave campaigners announce plans for a museum of the Eurosceptic movement
Plans to create a museum of Brexit and the Eurosceptic movement are gathering steam, with Leave supporters called on to donate their rosettes, pamphlets, diaries and other memorabilia.

According to a website dedicated to the project, the museum’s objective will be to tell “the history of what we know today as Brexit. It’s the story of how the UK - in official terms – ‘pooled’ (or surrendered), and then reclaimed, our sovereignty”.

The museum will feature a public collection, archives and a library, as well as undertaking outreach work to provide “ongoing support in post-Brexit issues, especially to Eurosceptics abroad”.

The people behind the museum, who include Gawain Thomas, the former Ukip communications chief and Lee Rotherham, the former director of special projects at Vote Leave, have launched a nationwide collections scheme to gather donations of “pictures, documents, memorabilia and ephemera” from both sides. The museum is not yet seeking financial contributions, according to the website, but will launch a fundraising campaign in due course.

Rotherham, who is acting chairman of the museum appeal, outlined his vision for a museum that would cover “as wide a range of the debate as possible” in an article on Brexit Central last week.

He wrote: “The task now begins to slowly assemble source material and artefacts that help tell that story of popular revolt…

“If it preserves the memories, voices and snapshots of those who for long decades thanklessly campaigned against European integration – and indeed conversely who honestly expounded its cause – then it will be fulfilling its purpose for future generations of intrigued visitors and puzzled historians to come.”

Organisers indicated that it may take years for the museum to be up and running, but said the project had been launched now in order to capture objects and stories before “they are lost to time”.

The website said: “We also believe that it is proper to allow some time for the country to heal politically. A little bit of a time gap will help the nation put Brexit in a more balanced perspective. Some wounds are still raw and we do not seek to aggravate them.”

Does Brexit need its own museum? Vote in our poll and have your say.


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24.04.2018, 07:03
They call it ''rapid response collecting'' though this is probably not that rapid as Aaron Bryant, curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, did in Baltimore on the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral in 2015.
Pushing all the political views aside, and looking at it as a piece of history in the making, I think there should be a museum for Brexit, no matter what the outcome. It's going to shape the future of UK for the next goodness knows how many decades..and if it is happening in front of us, when we are so aware of it why should we museum professionals be so afraid to approach it with a non political view? It's as major as even affecting every museum in the UK and every British citizen in the EU and trade and good grief..even the eggs you will eat for breakfast will be affected. If it is that powerful..why not?
however.. open it after Brexit happens of after Art 49 gets signed. (m hope). Collections, people's stories etc have to show the true history and emotions and not politicised. And for the inaugural ribbon cutting? Youngsters..the ones who inherit the future ..of what is or what may have been. As for the funding.. please don't get a political party to fund this museum project. .. that would be playing with fire...
Sorry for an epistle..I tend to write that long at times.
Jonathan Gammond
Access , Wrexham County Borough Museum
23.04.2018, 22:22
Sounds just the kind of objects. archives and stories that the People's History Museum in Manchester specialize in collecting and usually do a great job at displaying. Surely even the title would appeal to Mr Farage.

More importantly, at least then we would know the objects are in good hands.

If UKIP does have any spare cash for museum projects, with their love of all things Commonwealth, perhaps they could rescue the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum collection from obscurity. It was last seen in Bristol near Temple Meads railway station. Reports that it was heading to London have proved to be very misleading.