Former Leave figures plot Museum of Brexit - but it won't open in Remain-backing London

 
Catherine Neilan
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When the dust of the 2016 EU referendum has finally settled there could be a new place to take the kids on rainy weekends - a Museum of Brexit.

A group of Brexiters have issued a call for people to donate items from drafts of major speeches to campaign memorabilia and photographs in the hope of creating a destination that serves as an archive, resource, events space and public-facing museum.

Organiser, historian and a former director of Vote Leave Lee Rotherham told City A.M. it would be handled sensitively - acknowledging that opening the doors of such a premises could reopen old wounds, or even spark protests.

To that end, the location will be somewhere largely pro-Leave - most likely in Lincolnshire rather than Lambeth - and the doors will not open for some time.

"Right now is a painful period, particularly for those emotionally attached to the EU, so it makes sense to take a step back," he said. "You might find that once transition starts... there is a shift of mood, but realistically it could take three years for that to happen.

"It will take time - this is is a work of patience," he added. "A little passage of time allows people to put things in perspective."

The museum, which is being supported by a number of Leave figures including former Ukip spokesman Gawain Towler and Grassroots Out's former executive director Alex Deane, is positioned as a history of Euroscepticism that could extend back as far as the Roman period, and include key moments in history such as the signing of the Magna Carta and the Hundred Years War, although much of the focus will be in the last 40 years leading up to the referendum.

But Rotherham insisted it would consider the wider context. "This is not a museum that will gloat about result, it is not going to be a glorification of nationalism," he said.

Funding is expected to come through private donations, although the possibility of state funding has not been ruled out.

At this stage, however, the main focus is on encouraging people who may have memorabilia to make use of one of the museum's drop off centres.

"It has to be a national collection, otherwise you'll have a very narrow base," Rotherham said.