Pictures: Fishing For Leave Flotilla Kicks Off Brexit March to London

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OLIVER JJ LANE

A flotilla of fishing boats have sailed up the river Tyne to Newcastle in protest against what they called a Brexit betrayal underway.

The nautical protest came after a week of votes in Westminster which have all but made certain that the United Kingdom will not leave the European Union on March 29th as has been long promised as undeniable fact by the Prime Minister, and a day before Brexit leader Nigel Farage launched a protest march from nearby Sunderland to London.

NORTH SHIELDS, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: Boats flying pro-Brexit flags sail on the River Tyne during the Fishing For Leave flotilla on March 15, 2019 in North Shields, United Kingdom. Fishing for Leave are supporting other Pro-Brexit groups who are calling for the Government to scrap the Withdrawal Agreement and for MP’s to ensure that Britain leaves the EU with no deal. The flotilla marks the official launch of the ‘March to Leave’ walk that begins the following day and will make its way to London in 14 stages arriving on March 29, the original date for the UK to leave the European Union.(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Anti-Brexit activists fly EU flags as fishing boats take part in a demonstration on the River Tyne in Newcastle, northeast England on March 15, 2019, against the terms of the current Brexit deal being offered by Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. – People working in the fishing industry supported by the pro-Brexit Fishing for Leave organisation, launched a flotilla on Friday in protest against the prospect of Britain continuing to adhere to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy that sets quotas and fishing rights during the transition period after Britain has formally left the European Union. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP)

Banners carried on the craft included messages such as “you promised to take back control, but you’ve betrayed us again”, “let’s flourish great and free”, and “save our country, no deal now!”.

The BBC quoted the remarks of protest leader Aaron Brown who said: “It’s to tell MPs enough is enough.

“They’re trying to thwart democracy, thwart the biggest vote in British history. We’ve seen that in parliament. It’s brazen. It’s not lip service to Brexit, it’s open revolt against it.”It is 1,000 days on Tuesday since the referendum.

Catherine Blaiklock, the leader of the new Nigel Farage-backed Brexit Party was also present and addressed the fishermen. Local newspaper the Chronicle reports her as having said: “It is 1,000 days on Tuesday since the referendum. They have had plenty of time to prepare everything, there has been an absolute wanton failure to prepare.

“People think it is laughable, pathetic, even people who voted Remain, who are weak Remainers, think it has been disastrous handling.

“It’s the worst handling of any event since Suez. Three years (since the referendum) … zero progress.”

NORTH SHIELDS, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: A boat with a “No Deal No Problem” sign attached to it on the quay side at North Shields as campaigners prepare for the Fishing For Leave flotilla on March 15, 2019 in North Shields, United Kingdom.(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

NORTH SHIELDS, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: A drummer with a pipe band escorts a 30ft fishing boat on a lorry as it passes a flotilla of fishing boats from the Fishing For Leave protest group as they prepare to sail up the River Tyne from North Shields on March 15, 2019 in North Shields, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: A couple sit on a bench as a 30ft fishing boat on a lorry drives past as part of the Fishing For Leave protest at the Quayside area of the River Tyne on March 15, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

As well as the group of fishing boats navigating the Tyne, a further boat transported by lorry and accompanied by a marching pipe band was driven to the city centre. In a statement before the protest took place, the group said the funeral procession of the lorry-bound boat was to highlight the “death sentence” to British fishing the attempt to thwart Brexit in Westminster was passing.

That boat would then head south to Sunderland, also in the Tyne & Wear area, to be present at the beginning of the ‘March to Leave’, a 13 day march on London from the North East that will be joined by Nigel Farage and other pro-Brexit figures.

Friday’s protest was staged by the same group which grabbed headline during the Brexit referendum debate when they sailed to London in their fishing boats, where they were met by Euro-fanatic Bob Geldoff who had hired a luxury Thames river cruiser, outfitted with a loud hailing system allowing him to shout abuse at the protesters. The optics of the event were so bad Labour remain campaigners onboard Sir Bob’s boat “left in disgust” after the counter-protest.

This protest was also met by pro-European Union counter-protesters, who flew EU flags from a bridge and shouted slogans at the fishermen. Fishing For Leave alleged after the protest that an incident where four boats slipped their moorings had been an act of sabotage and wrote on Twitter they would be cooperating with local police to investigate how that came to be.

Anti-Brexit activists fly EU and a Union flag from the Millennium Bridge during a demonstration by fishermen on the River Tyne in Newcastle, northeast England on March 15, 2019, against the terms of the current Brexit deal being offered by Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. – People working in the fishing industry supported by the pro-Brexit Fishing for Leave organisation, launched a flotilla on Friday in protest against the prospect of Britain continuing to adhere to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy that sets quotas and fishing rights during the transition period after Britain has formally left the European Union. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP)

Fishing boats take part in a demonstration on the River Tyne, near the Millennium Bridge in Newcastle, northeast England on March 15, 2019, against the terms of the current Brexit deal being offered by Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP)

NORTH SHIELDS, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: A flotilla of fishing boats from the Fishing For Leave protest group prepares to sail up the River Tyne from North Shields on March 15, 2019 in North Shields, United Kingdom. Fishing for Leave are supporting other Pro-Brexit groups who are calling for the Government to scrap the Withdrawal Agreement and for MP’s to ensure that Britain leaves the EU with no deal. The flotilla marks the official launch of the ‘March to Leave’ walk that begins the following day and will make its way to London in 14 stages arriving on March 29, the original date for the UK to leave the European Union. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: A pro-Europe supporter shouts from the Millennium Bridge over the River Tyne as a flotilla of fishing boats from the Fishing For Leave protest group arrive at the Quayside area of the River on March 15, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Join me on Independence day!

Nigel Farage: March 29th should be our independence day, but politicians are trying to stop Brexit.

Parliament Square, 29th March will be a historic rally of Brexiteers to tell those in power not to betray Brexit. Be there.

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Posted by Leave Means Leave on Saturday, 9 March 2019

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