THE Festival of Brexit will bring “joy, hope and happiness” to the whole of the UK, according to the man in charge.

Though no details of the programme for the £120 million nationwide celebration planned for 2022 have yet been revealed, director Martin Green said his aim was to bring the nation together, and showcase British creativity.

The event, first announced by Theresa May in May 2018 and given the go-ahead by Boris Johnson last year, will clash with the 75th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, as well as the Queen’s jubilee and the centenary of the BBC.

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It could also come after any second referendum on Scottish independence.

In an interview with the Guardian, Green said the event would be about “healing and coming together”.

He also insisted it would be arms-length from the Tory Government. “We are in charge of the curation of the festival, “ he said. “We will sign off the decisions working with the devolved nations.”

The festival of Brexit marks a change in tone for Green who has previously worked for Underbelly on Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

For New Year’s in 2018 he led the creative team on an unabashedly pro-European event, telling media that the celebration of Scotland’s ties to Europe was the capital’s chance “to say loudly and proudly to our European friends — ‘we love you!’”

Over the weekend, Green told the Guardian: “There is no doubt that money has been made available because this country is exiting the European Union, there is no getting away from that.

“There is also no doubt that we have been through a particularly divisive time in the discourse of our daily lives and as we go forward let’s see how the great creativity and ingenuity of the UK can help refind that common ground.

“On a very basic level we are probably due a bit of joy and hope and happiness, and art is really good at that.”

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Green said it was wrong to think of the festival of Brexit as a festival of Brexit.

“It’s a nice line and it makes you look but I’d argue if you dig down … what on earth would that be about?

“It is absolutely expected that there is a degree of cynicism at the start of every major project … I’m lucky in that I’ve got form in this.”

He said he was used to cynicism. “What you do is you embrace it, you don’t have an attitude to it because it is a completely natural response. But people come round when they start seeing things for themselves.”

Green expects to announce a programme by the end of 2021. It will, he said, involve “a small amount of very large acts” and “things which are not normal business.”