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Fishing flotilla stages River Tyne Brexit protest

The flotilla of fishing boats on the River Tyne Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The fishing boats set off from North Shields at about 10:00 GMT

A flotilla of fishing boats has sailed in protest against the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans.

The demonstration on the River Tyne came the day before former UKIP leader Nigel Farage starts out on a March to Leave, from Sunderland to London.

Fishing for Leave said MPs had not honoured the 2016 referendum result to split with the EU, and were trying to “thwart democracy”.

The government has insisted its Brexit agreement will protect the industry.

About 20 Fishing For Leave boats set off from North Shields, North Tyneside, and made their way to Newcastle Quayside.

Meanwhile, a trawler bearing a Fishing For Leave banner was driven on the back of a lorry heading for a meeting point in the city centre.

‘Enough is enough’

Aaron Brown, head of the group, 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.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The first of the boats arrived at Newcastle after about 90 minutes

The group described the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement as “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,” it added.

The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is unpopular with some fishermen and Fishing For Leave has called for “repatriation of national control” over UK waters.

It claims the country’s fishing industry has been “forced into continual decline” by EU laws.

The government said the UK would be an “independent coastal nation” following Brexit.

On Saturday, Mr Farage will lead the March to Leave event, which is due to arrive at London’s Parliament Square on 29 March.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A trawler was transported by road decked with Fishing For Leave banners
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