THE SCOTTISH Government is looking to prevent a Better Together coalition lowering the EU flag over Holyrood forever, The National has learned.

SNP MSP Alasdair Allan had submitted a parliamentary motion saying that Parliament “should continue to fly the EU flag on its grounds, in line with the democratic decisions of Scotland’s voters and MSPs to remain in the EU”.

While this was backed by SNP and Greens MSPs, it was dismissed by the other members of Parliament’s cross-party corporate body management group.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh told MSPs that the Council of Europe flag will be flown on Europe Day “as a mark of our continued ties with that body” but that “from 11pm on January 31 the Scottish Parliament will no longer fly the EU flag on a daily basis”.

He added: “The corporate body decided that on Europe Day we shall fly the Council of Europe flag as a mark of our continued ties with that body and that our flag-flying policy should be amended to reflect these decisions.”

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After Allan asked in a point of order if the move could be challenged by MSPs, Macintosh insisted it was a “non-political decision”.

He said: “The corporate body discussed this at length and was very aware of the political sensitivities or the feelings of members of this chamber and of Scotland generally.

“There is a huge amount of symbolism and politics in flag-waving and flag flying. The corporate body takes decisions in the interest of the parliament, not in the interest of any party.

“It is a neutral and trusted institution, and the members of the corporate body were very aware of the need to do so, and not to take a political decision on this matter.”

A Scottish Government source said they were far from happy at the decision and that they weren’t content to let the matter rest. They said they would look to bring this to a full debate of parliament, potentially in the Government’s own allotted debating time before January 31.

Our source said they believed that if MSPs were able to vote on the matter, it would likely overturn the decision of SPCB.

They added: “Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU – a position that our national Parliament has reaffirmed in repeated votes at Holyrood.

“Taking down the EU flag goes against that and sends entirely the wrong signal about Scotland’s pro-EU sentiments.

“We strongly believe today’s decision was the wrong one and must be revisited.

“We will look to bring this back to Parliament to allow all members to vote on the issue before January 31st.”

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A spokesman for the Scottish Parliament said: “The decision taken reflects the legal position that the UK will no longer be a member of the EU from January 31.”

The row in Edinburgh came as Westminster Parliament bosses disappointed staunch Brexiters desperate to hear Big Ben bong on Brexit day.

Earlier this week the House of Commons Commission said that given the extensive work being carried out on the clock tower, it would cost around £500,000 to make the famous bell ring out.

That prompted the campaign group StandUp4Brexit to start a crowdfunding appeal which has already raised £100,000.

But Commons authorities have said there could be difficulties in accepting public donations because of “propriety and proper oversight of public expenditure.”

No 10 has said it will unveil its own package of Brexit day events.