VIDEO: Tempers flare as Nigel Farage turns out for pro-Brexit protest

Farage in Whitstable harbour
Nigel Farage in Whitstable last month

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrived in Whitstable this evening to join Brexit-supporting fishermen.

Trawlermen are unhappy with the government’s transitional deal with EU, saying it will leave them trapped by the Common Fisheries Policy.

The protest began around 5pm with small fishing vessels letting off flares and lining up alongside the harbour wall opposite the sailing club.

Their supporters on the beach were met by pro-Remain campaigners waving EU flags and anti-Brexit placards.

The tense atmosphere between the two sides escalated when Farage, flanked by bodyguards, arrived at around 6pm.

The former Thanet South candidate told the Journal: “I fear the transition period is going to be a death sentence for many of these families working in this hub. This is bad news and to be honest with you not what people voted for.

“These communities are very angry about it and they’ve every right to be.”

Pro-EU supporters held a counter protest

He then boarded a small vessel which headed out to join the other boats.

Remain supporters armed with a megaphone shouted and jeered as he passed.

Lib Dem James Flanagan, who campaigned vigorously for the UK to remain in the European Union, said: “Nigel Farage only attended one meeting during the three years he sat on the EU’s fisheries committee.

“It is rather hypocritical for him to suddenly take up the banner now that it suits him politically.

“Much of the fish caught in our waters is actually exported. That will be much harder to do if we leave the single market and the customs union.”

An old fishing boat festooned with an anti-government message was then torched.

Fishing boats off the Whitstable coast

Campaign group Fishing for Leave organised protests at harbours across the UK today.

It said: “This is our way of life and heritage – we have the chance to pass a bright future on to the next generation like our forefathers did to us.

“The protest’s purpose is to take our industry’s plight to the public and to pressure MPs not to allow this surrender of our nation’s greatest renewable resource which can support generations to come.

“No deal is better than this bad deal.”

The counter protest was organised by Canterbury for Europe.

Spokesman Chris Weller said: “Do the Brexiters know that In 2015, 70% of fish caught in Whitstable was transported to markets in France, such as Boulogne?

“Do the Brexiters not realise that any contract will have to be renegotiated? These things don’t happen overnight. So once we’re off the cliff, what are they going to do with all their fish?”

“We’ll watch Fishing for Leave burn a boat, but people need to realise that what they really want to do is burn this country’s bridges.”

Leave advocate Henry Bolton, another former Ukip leader, and his girlfriend Jo Marney also turned up to give their backing.


  1. it wasn’t only Remainers there today, there were some who had also voted Brexit but wanted to protest against Nigel Farage trying to arrive in Whitstable (by boat…) and a very strong force of local people remained on the shore to make sure he was given the kind of welcome he deserved…. I took along a megaphone that had been given to me by Greenpeace and used it to tell the truth about Nigel Farage and his voting record – as unearthed by Greenpeace themselves…

    Official records show that over the three years while Farage was a member of the influential European Parliament Fisheries Committee, he turned up for just one of 42 meetings with the Greenpeace research showing that “during three major votes to fix the flaws of the Common Fisheries Policy, Farage failed to vote in favour of improving the legislation.”

    Greenpeace stated that: “Former fisheries ministers from both Labour and the Conservatives have intervened to debunk the idea that EU fishing rules are to blame for the crisis facing many UK fishers. They pointed out that Britain gets the second largest slice of fish quota in the EU, and on the whole fishing profits in the UK are up and higher than any other EU member state.

    Many small fishing businesses have blamed a fish quota allocation that favours large over small vessels for their dire predicament. The distribution of fishing rights within the UK’s fleet is entirely the responsibility of the UK’s fisheries minister.”

    Also, a Greenpeace investigation revealed how “just three large fishing firms have come to control nearly two-thirds of England’s fish quota, leaving thousands of small boats struggling to keep afloat.

    The reformed EU fishing policy requires member states to give more fishing quota to sustainable businesses who support local jobs and coastal economies, but the UK government has so far preferred to ignore it.”

    CRUCIALLY, In 2013, when Nigel Farage had the chance to support this part of the new fisheries policy HE CHOSE YET AGAIN NOT TO VOTE.

    I know that Greenpeace has been campaigning alongside small-scale fishers for several years to force the government to address the injustice at the heart of the fish quota system.

    Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven commented:

    “When Nigel Farage had a chance to stand up for UK fishermen in Brussels, he bunked off. His no-show voting record proves he’s no fisherman’s friend but a cynical opportunist exploiting the harsh predicament of many fishermen for political gain.

    “What’s threatening the livelihoods of thousands of sustainable, family-run businesses is the grossly unfair division of fish quota overseen by successive UK governments. The root of the problem lies in London, not Brussels. Quitting the EU will only condemn the industry to years of wrangling over new fisheries agreements, with no guarantee of a better deal for fishers or stronger protections for our seas.”

    Fishermen from Whitstable told me, and others, today how this is the second time Farage has to try to hi-jack legitimate concerns about their industry with these stunts but so many of us turned out to speak truth to him today – one former UKIP councillor told me today “Farage is yesterday’s man”. He certainly is – and rightly so.

    Today, we chanted: “Fishermen – yes! Farage – no!” BIG thanks to everyone who came along today. Farage’s landing on our shores was a big flop….And well done to the protestor who managed to stick a “Bollxxxs to Brexit” sticker on Henry Bolton’s back today. Good riddance.

  2. Throwing dead fish into the Thames, burning fishing vessels, polluting our environment and our waters.

    Listening to renowned fishing experts like skipper Rees Mogg or deckhand Farage!

    Are these the actions of genuine fishing industry professionals or more media manipulation by hardcore Brextremist lunatics.

    I would like people to consider that of the 40 plus meetings on fishery in the European Union, Nigel Farage had only attended once.
    One meeting in all the years he was a Member of the European Parliament.

    He care little for fishing quoters, for the fishing industry, for those that risk their lives to put fish on our tables daily, for the fish stock in our waters, for the businesses that are reliant on what is landed or where it is sold; he is not even interested in what the government does during the transition period – if he did he would have been there to argue the case throughout his political career.

    His current grandstanding is for no one but himself and his skewed image of how Britain should be governed.

    The man is a narcissist who’s self image, self furtherance and self promotion is geared not for the improvement of Britain but the improvement of himself.

    Nigel Farage has stitched Britain up like a ……


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