Police have vowed they “will be prosecuting” British truckers who staged a “go slow” protest after the Government broke its promise to deliver Brexit on March 29th and asked the EU to push the date back.
Prime Minister Theresa May had vowed to deliver Brexit on schedule 108 times from the House of Commons despatch box, but reversed position after her proposed Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union was heavily rejected by MPs for a second time.
Rather than allow Brexit to go ahead without a deal on March 29th, she asked the European Council for an extension to the end of June — but received a much shorter one, with Brexit now set to take place on May 22nd if she manages to get her deal past MPs in the coming days, or on No Deal terms on April 12th if she cannot.
Technically, the exit date set down in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 remains March 29th, with the Government needing to pass a statutory instrument to extend it — although as EU law is superior to national law, most commentators believe this is not really necessary for the agreed dealy to have legal effect.
For Tory Brexiteers still dreaming we leave on no deal March 29: extension agreed and signed off by EU27 is a decision binding in international law. EU law, not domestic law, created the 29th March legal “cliff-edge.” Failure to amend exit date in UK law does not lead to No Deal
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) March 23, 2019
Lorry and van drivers with the Brexit Direct Action Group, angry that Mrs May, a former Remain campaigner, had reneged on her oft-repeated promises to deliver Brexit, protested the delay with a “go-slow” on major highways.
The police, however, have responded harshly, vowing that they will prosecute the leading drivers for “inconsiderate driving”.
“My officers… stopped the front vehicles and will be prosecuting them for inconsiderate driving,” declared Inspector Simon Jenkinson, from the Alliance Roads Policing Team.
“We recognise the right to protest and make views clear, but we will not tolerate careless and inconsiderate driving on our roads,” Jenkinson added, somewhat contradictorily.
“We engaged with organisers before the go-slow began, they ignored our advice to stay in lane 1 and limit speed to no less than 45 mph,” he complained.
“We stopped 9 vehicles, the front two have been reported for inconsiderate driving the remainder given words of advice and allowed to continue on their way at an appropriate speed. If they repeat their actions they are aware we have their details and prosecutions will follow.”
As you all know, we have been inundated with requests for interviews by many broadcast and printed media outlets.
Here is our official response. pic.twitter.com/0kp7LDkgnV
— BrexitDirectAction (@ActionBrexit) March 19, 2019
For now, the Brexiteers have vowed to carry on their protests regardless, with organiser Ian Charlesworth indicating they will stage an even larger “national event” on March 29th.