SUNDERLAND, England (Reuters) – Nigel Farage, the politician who probably did more than anyone else to force Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union, joined protesters at the start of a 270-mile march over what they call a betrayal of the Brexit vote.
The march comes after another tumultuous week for Prime Minister Theresa May in which parliament overwhelmingly rejected her divorce deal for a second time and lawmakers voted to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the EU.
In the pouring rain in Sunderland, northeast England, which was the first place in Britain to declare a vote to leave the EU, Mr Farage, wearing a flat cap and carrying an umbrella, said Brexit was now in danger of being scuttled by the establishment.
“We are here in the very week when parliament is doing its utmost to betray the Brexit result,” he said. “It is beginning to look like it doesn’t want to leave and the message from this march is if you think you can walk all over us we will march straight back to you.”
The march, which began with about 100 people, is due to end at parliament on March 29, the day the United Kingdom was supposed to leave the EU.
Mr Farage defended that decision and said as a member of the European Parliament he may have to take part in a vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal.
“I am quite a busy chap. I have a role in the European Parliament,” he said. “Don’t forgot the final vote is in the European Parliament. I think I ought to be there for that one.”