Brexit: Remain protesters confront people on Nigel Farage’s Brexit ‘betrayal’ march

Nigel Farage at the launch of the so-called Brexit 'betrayal' march in Sunderland
Nigel Farage at the launch of the so-called Brexit ‘betrayal’ march in Sunderland ( Getty Images )

Remain protesters clashed with members of a march launched by Nigel Farage today aimed protesting against a perceived Brexit“betrayal”.

The March to Leave set off from Sunderland on Saturday morning, and will make its way down to London over a 14-day period, arriving in the capital on March 29, where a mass rally will take place on Parliament Square.

Leading a contingent of protesters, Nigel Farage said: “The will of the people is very clear.

“If you see what has been happening in Parliament this week, we may well not be leaving the EU.

“If politicians think they can walk all over us, then we’re going to march back and tell them they can’t. Simple as that.”

Pro EU activists at the start of Nigel Farage’s Brexit ‘betrayal’ march (Getty Images)

The event has been arranged by the Leave Means Leave campaign, and will proceed towards Hartlepool on Saturday, a trip of around 20 miles, before proceeding on to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

The campaign’s website says tickets to be “core marchers”, who pay £50 to get fully-paid accommodation, breakfast and dinner for the duration of the 14-day event, have sold out.

The start of the first leg of the March to Leave the EU (AP)

Angry rows broke out as the march started, with several counter-protesters assembling in order to get their views across. Anti-Brexit campaigners have dubbed Mr Farage’s march the “Gammonball run”.

They were carrying love hearts bearing messages like “we love workers’ rights” and “we love to have a say”, but some marchers responded by calling them “EU money grabbers”.

The counter-protesters were also told to respect the 2016 referendum result, with one man waving a fake blue passport in their direction.

Nigel Farage sets off on the first leg of the 14-stage Brexit march (Getty Images)

As Mr Farage arrived, a flare was set off with the EU colours, with shouts of “exit Brexit” emanating form the counter-protesters.

It is understood that two two advertising vans, made by the anti-Brexit grassroots campaign Led By Donkeys, will also be following the march.

Barry Lockey, who arrived in Sunderland carrying a flag with the message “Get Britain out: Time to leave the EU”, said that the event is about supporting democracy.

He said: “The democracy in the Parliament building has been spot on. They’ve got their no-deal taken off the table by four votes.”

Mr Lockey pointed out that this margin was much smaller than the 4% margin of victory during the EU referendum, which he said is now being discredited.

He added: “I’m sorry, but that really riles me. And they’re not going to get away with it.

“They’re going to get kicked out, them people, and they’re an absolute damned disgrace.”

In contrast, one counter-protester told the Press Association “it’s going to be a disaster if we leave.”

Frank Hindle, 66, said: “We’re here to point out that not everybody agrees with this crowd, who think it’s going to be wonderful if we leave.”

Discussing the no-deal Brexit that many of the marchers are calling for, he said: “The impact that will have on businesses and on prices, and on the availability of things like medicines and so forth, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

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