Brexit flotilla fishing protest planned as part of weekend's March to Leave rally

A flotilla of fishing boats on the Tyne in a protest, organised by Campaign for an Independent Britain and Fishing for Leave last April. Photo by PA.
A flotilla of fishing boats on the Tyne in a protest, organised by Campaign for an Independent Britain and Fishing for Leave last April. Photo by PA.

Brexit campaigners are to hold a North East fishing demo tomorrow ahead of the weekend's March to Leave protest as it sets off to London from Sunderland.

Ahead of the March to Leave - which will leave Sunderland on Saturday morning and head for Hartlepool, setting off on the next stage of the walk on Sunday morning - Fishing for Leave plans a River Tyne flotilla and parade.

Independent MEP Jonathan Arnott.

Independent MEP Jonathan Arnott.

Related: Sunderland and Hartlepool opening stages of Brexit March to Leave protest get ready to head for Parliament

There is a suggestion a further event is part of the fishing protest is planned for Hartlepool on Sunday morning, but no details have been released.

Read more: Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage to lead nationwide Brexit march through Sunderland and Hartlepool

Organisers of the fishing event say it will be an "another audacious event to highlight the death sentence Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, or MPs thwarting Brexit, presents to British fishing and coastal communities."

A boat taking part in last April's protest heads up the River Tyne. Photo by PA.

A boat taking part in last April's protest heads up the River Tyne. Photo by PA.

It will take place on Friday, when a a 30ft fishing boat on a lorry will be escorted by a pipe band from North Shields fishing harbour at 8.30am, via Wallsend High Street at 10am and Byker, to Newcastle Quayside by noon.

At the same time a flotilla of some 20 fishing vessels will leave North Shields at 10am and head up the Tyne to pass under Millennium Bridge.

The flotilla will re-unite with the boat, lorry and pipe band as they arrive and parade along the Quayside.

The parade will then March up to cross the Tyne Bridge on the A167 to "bellows of horns and hooters from the fishing boats below."

The boat, lorry and pipe band will then head to Jarrow to fire the start on the Jarrow March for Brexit, as Brexit groups set off on the March to Leave from the North East in Sunderland the following day.

It plans to end in Parliament Square in London on March 29, which they say will be "Brexit victory or betrayal day."

Read more: 'I'm a Sunderland man and that is why I’ll be on the March to Leave': Campaign organiser says why he will be joining Nigel Farage on Brexit crusade to London

Independent MEP Jonathan Arnott, who previously represented Ukip, will be supporting the event.

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 – and increasing public calls shown in new polling – for the Government to scrap the loathed Withdrawal Agreement and for MPs to honour the Brexit vote by ensuring Britain leaves the EU with No Deal.

"The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement are an existential threat to fishing and a total betrayal of Brexit and Britain.

"It means a second surrender of our industry and coastal communities and places a constitutional bomb under democracy.

"The protests purpose is to remind our representatives who we elect to ensure we leave on March 29 and to highlight our industry’s plight as symbolic of EU mis-rule to a public who are equally sickened by the Government's actions.

"The fishing will start this historic march of the British people to our capital to send a message to our elected representatives to obey our democratic instruction and that our industry won’t accept a second surrender of Britain and our fishing.

"One which can support generations to come in areas like the North East – no deal is better than this bad deal.

"We therefore appeal to every Briton who loves their country you must shout and thunder to stop MPs betraying the largest democratic instruction in British history."

It says people with boats can join the flotilla in the parade, join it on land on foot or by car.