SUNDERLAND, England (Reuters) – Nigel Farage, the politician who probably did more than anyone else to force the British referendum on joining the European Union, joined the protesters at the start of a march of 270 miles on what they call a betrayal of the Brexit vote.
The Brexit activist Nigel Farage makes gestures during the "Brexit Betrayal" march from Sunderland to London, to Sunderland, Great Britain, 16 March 2019. REUTERS / Scott Heppell
The march comes after another tumultuous week for Prime Minister Theresa May in which the parliament overwhelmingly rejected her divorce agreement for the second time and the legislators voted to seek a delay in the exit of the Grand Brittany from the European Union.
In the pouring rain in Sunderland, in the north-east of England, which was the first place in Britain to declare a vote to leave the EU, Farage, who wears a flat cap and carries an umbrella, he said that Brexit is now in danger of being sunk by the plant.
"We are here in the week when parliament is doing its best to betray the Brexit result," Farage said. "He's starting to look like he doesn't want to leave and the message of this march is that if you think you can walk on us, we'll come back to you."
The march, which began with about 100 people, will end in parliament on March 29, the day on which the United Kingdom should have left the EU.
The crisis in Britain's accession to the EU is approaching its final as May continues to struggle to build support for its divorce agreement, which should be presented to legislators for the third time next week . Many Brexit supporters in his own party oppose the deal, saying that it binds Britain too closely to the EU.
May gave these critics an ultimatum – it will ratify its agreement by Wednesday or it will be delayed compared to the Brexit beyond June 30 which would open the possibility that the entire departure from the EU could eventually be thwarted.
As leader of the Eurokeptic United Kingdom Independence Party, Farage pressured former prime minister David Cameron to call the Brexit referendum and then helped lead the campaign to leave the EU. But he left the party leader in the days following the referendum.
In what pro-EU supporters said was a metaphor for his decision to abandon the Brexit relapse, Farage said he will not complete the entire two-week walk in London, but instead will join supporters for about a third of it.
Farage defended this decision and declared himself a member of the European Parliament and may have to take part in a vote to approve the Brexit agreement.
"I'm pretty busy. I have a role in the European Parliament," Farage said. "Don't forget that the final vote is in the European Parliament. I think I should be there for that."
Writing by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Mark Potter