On Saturday, March 16, a pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave march will set off from Sunderland on a 13-day route to London demanding Britain leaves the EU on March 29, with or without a deal.
Among those taking part along the way will be former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Leave Means Leave national ground campaign organiser Harry Todd, from Sunderland.
Here, in his own words, he explains why he chose to get involved…
My mother went to St. Anthony’s school, my great aunt and uncle still live in Washington village and the Ryhope colliery was where a lot of my family made a living for many generations.
I’m a Sunderland man through and through and even though I now live in London my heart will always be on the Wear.
When I left in 2015, we had not had a Brexit vote, though David Cameron had promised one. Since then we not only had a vote, but we once again beat the rest of the country to declare our results first.
Sunderland (and it turned out the nation) was for leave.
Jump forward two and a half years and despite the largest democratic vote in UK history and a general election where over 80% of MPs were elected on a pledge to honour the result of the referendum, what we see is the Westminster elite trying to dictate to us what is was that people voted for.
They say people did not understand. They claim leavers were duped. They want another go because it was just ‘so close’. To me it sounds like just one thing. Snobbery. It is true to say that a large number of leave voters were from less privileged backgrounds or from former industrial towns that have not seen the supposed ‘benefits’ of the European Union.
It is not however true to say that people were incapable of understanding the choice on offer or that people were conned into supporting one or the other.
Talk to the average Leave voter and what you’ll see is that there is no average Leave voter.
People voted for their sovereignty, the freedom to trade and the ability to control our own borders but when you then ask them whether what is on offer from the Government is Brexit, they will universally say no.
Ask them if they want to be forced to vote again because the Westminster elite cannot honour their promise, they will universally say no.
I’m a Sunderland man and that is why I’ll be on the March to Leave, because we are not getting what we were promised. I respect democracy too much to let the Westminster elite tell me they will not respect the result.
So, let me ask you. Will you join the March to Leave?
6th March, 2019; The Sunderland Echo