Fishermen on the march to press Brexit case

Brexit fishing protest through Jarrow town centre. Organiser Aaron Brown
Brexit fishing protest through Jarrow town centre. Organiser Aaron Brown

Brexit campaigners took to the land and water of the North East in protest over the row surrounding the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Ahead of the March to Leave - due to leave Sunderland for London tomorrow, a flotilla of fishing vessels sailed up the River Tyne from North Shields to the Millennium Bridge.

Brexit fishing protest through Jarrow town centre

Brexit fishing protest through Jarrow town centre

They were joined on land by a parade, led by a marching band, which left North Shields for Newcastle’s Quayside.

The two groups re-united at the Quayside, before the lorry transporting a boat draped in flags emblazoned with slogans ‘Save Our Country - No deal now’ and ‘No deal- No problem’ headed for Jarrow.

They then marched down Ellison Street.

Head of Fishing for Leave, Aaron Brown, said: “The events are to kick off the March to Leave which will land in Parliament Square on March 29.

Boats flying pro-brexit sail on the River Tyne during the Fishing For Leave flotilla  in North Shields. 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)

Boats flying pro-brexit sail on the River Tyne during the Fishing For Leave flotilla in North Shields. 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)

“It’s to tell our politicians that people won’t take what they are doing in relation to one of the biggest votes in history, lying down.

“Obviously for us in the fishing industry, Brexit provides a huge opportunity to automatically repatriate a £68bn industry which will be a huge benefit to our rural and coastal communities. The MPs in Westminster are about to flush that all away.

“People need to get out there and tell them you won’t tolerate it. Let’s get Brexit and Britain’s independence back in 14 days time.

The March to Leave is due to leave Sunderland, tomorrow with protesters expected to be joined at the start by Nigel Farage MEP.

The protest will head to Hartlepool before moving on over the next two weeks where it will culminate in a mass protest in Parliament Square on March 29, which campaigners say will be “Brexit victory or betrayal day”.

Supporting yesterday’s event was Independent MEP Jonathan Arnott, who previously represented Ukip.

He said: “This is one of the most important issues this country has faced for decades and it has been handled so badly that it is no wonder that people are taking to the streets – and the water – to show just how let down they feel.

“They are also determined that the result of the 2016 referendum should be faithfully enacted by Parliament and not, as we have been sadly seeing, turned into a betrayal of democracy.”

A spokesman for the event said: “Fishing for Leave are throwing their weight behind Brexit groups.

“We want the Government to scrap the Withdrawal Agreement and for MPs to honour the Brexit vote by ensuring Britain leaves the EU with No Deal.”