This is the Haymarket, Newcastle. Nowadays it is a metro station at the end of a busy shopping street. As the name suggests this area was for many years the scene of a market selling hay and straw, a reminder of our agricultural past. Long ago but still remembered and timely to do so in the current political situation.
‘Save British Farming’ is displayed on a large banner. Other signs read ‘No to No Deal’. ‘How are we supposed to survive with Covid-19 and No Deal Brexit’ and ‘Land of hopeless Tories’…
Jayne, from Northumberland who was part of the protest said:
“Whether people voted for leave or remain, no-one voted for a No Deal or for the government to break international treaties. We cannot cope with the coronavirus epidemic and cope with the consequences of a No Deal Brexit…the govt needs to get a grip, parliament needs to take back control…otherwise this will destroy the UK”.
Caroline, from Newcastle added: “I’m protesting today because no deal would be disastrous for the people of the UK…The deal, apparently is (or was) ‘oven-ready,’ indeed a wonderful deal was promised. Let’s have it…another reason for the protest today is because of the proposed reneging of parts of the withdrawal agreement by the prime minister. Unilaterally reneging on an international treaty, freely signed by Boris Johnson, is simply unthinkable. The rule of law is there to be respected and upheld by everyone. If the prime minister and his cabinet cannot be trusted to comply with the law, indeed to openly want to break it, we are entering into a very dangerous phase of UK history.”
The protestors are concerned residents from across the North East who are very worried about the effect that No Deal Brexit might have on the North East and in particular on British farming. It has been estimated that this scenario might cause one third of British farms to fail. This week there have been a number of similar protests around the country by the group ‘Save British Farming’, led by Liz Webster.
Today’s protest follows on from a protest last weekend in the North East market town of Hexham and more events are planned in the next few weeks.
The group conformed to government guidelines, wearing facemasks and observing social distancing at all times.