Sunday 4 December 2016

'Leave' heartlands react with fury

Dean Grey

Published 04/11/2016 | 02:30

grassroots Brexiteers warned of “hell on Earth” and “Ukip on steroids” if “the elite” stopped Brexit from happening (Stock picture)
grassroots Brexiteers warned of “hell on Earth” and “Ukip on steroids” if “the elite” stopped Brexit from happening (Stock picture)

The Brexit heartlands of Britain have reacted with fury to the High Court ruling that Article 50 could not be triggered without parliamentary approval, with one senior Ukip councillor warning of riot and revolution if the UK is stopped from leaving the EU.

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Other grassroots Brexiteers warned of "hell on Earth" and "Ukip on steroids" if "the elite" stopped Brexit from happening. Stephen Raven, a borough councillor in Boston, the town which recorded the UK's biggest Brexit vote, went as far as warning that if Brexit were blocked: "Eventually we are going to have a civil riot. That's my honest opinion. You have got 17 million people [who voted Brexit] who are not going to be very happy at all if the decision gets overturned.

In other parts of the country, grassroots Brexiteers predicted fury while stopping short of following Mr Raven in warning about the possibility of revolution.

In Sunderland, where the hefty 61pc Brexit vote provided the first clear indication of the way the nation was voting on referendum night, Alan Davies, chair of Houghton and Sunderland South UKIP constituency association, reserved particular anger for those who brought the case.

He said: "They are not doing what is right for democracy, for the country. They just want to have their own way."

In Thurrock, Essex, which recorded a 72.3pc Brexit vote on 23 June, the fourth largest in the country, Graham Snell, the leader of the Ukip group on the council, said: "The word being used a lot is 'elite': we knew we couldn't trust them."

Mr Snell (51) remained confident that yesterday's judgment would be overturned on appeal. But if Brexit were stopped by a pro-Remain Parliament, he said, voters would defect to Ukip in droves. "It would be the ultimate political hand grenade."

Irish Independent

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