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Battle of Brexit Boils Up Across Irish Sea on ‘Bloomsday’

16th June 2016

#BrexitTradeIrelandUK – An Taoiseach Enda Kenny is on a two-day visit to the UK to encourage support from the Irish diaspora to vote 'Remain' in the EU Referendum, when he visits Liverpool and Manchester, this follow’s yesterday Thames flotilla face-off writes Jehan Ashmore.

The opposing sides of the Brexit debate involved rival flotillas from Sir Bob Geldof and Nigel Farage, where the focus centred on the EU Common fisheries policy, one of a plethora of fundamental topics in which the British electorate face. The nation goes to the polls on the EU Referendum this day next week.

Sir Bob Geldof of the ‘Remain’ camp on board the Sarpedon, traded insults with Nigel Farage, UKIP Leader and one of the high-profile campaigners who is advocating for the UK to ‘Leave’ the EU.

Speaking on RTE Radio I’s Ryan Tubridy Show this morning from London was an exasperated Geldof who said, “I think Britain’s going out". On the question of Ireland, he added “I would say they’re going out which means a border between North and South – a police border again, and the consequences of that – the smuggling and everything else.

The ‘Boomtown Rats’ frontman and originally a resident of Blackrock, Co. Dublin, also claimed the trawler vessel Farage was on board, Christina S (72m pelagic trawler) was involved in a £63m fishing fraud.

Geldof also appealed to the 5.5million Irish, both direct descendents and immigrants in the UK to back the ‘Remain’ campaign, given the UK is the 5th largest economy in the world. He also added the benefits of the EU to unite, despite its democratic deficit and against the backdrop of an increasing ‘fragile’ world.

The armada display between both sides involved around 30 fishing vessels of varying sizes, where larger trawlers came alongside the permanently moored HMS Belfast in the Pool of London. Only last week at the same mooring, RMS St. Helena made a unique first time visit to the capital before making a final voyage from the UK to her namesake island in the South Atlantic.

Smaller fishing craft, however headed further upriver, beyond Westminster Bridge to converge off the banks lining The Houses of Parliament. This led to further outbursts by the figures of the debate to coincide with Prime Minister's Questions inside the palace.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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