What we know so far about 'Brexit blockades' on M5 as lorry drivers threaten to stage UK-wide protests

Lorry drivers could stage their anti-EU blockade on the M5 as early as this weekend ahead rumours of a delayed Brexit. Brexit Direct Action is calling on drivers to block major motorways around the country if the Government does not leave the European Union on Friday, March 29. MPs recently voted 413 to 202 to request a delay to Article 50, the legal mechanism by which the UK will divorce from the EU.

Thersea May has written to the European Union asking for a short extension to Brexit ahead of an EU summit tomorrow (Thursday, March 21). If the extension to Article 50 is approved, the UK will not leave the EU on March 29. Brexit Direct Action has meanwhile claimed it has received requests from Brexiteers to put on mass blockades of Britain’s major transport links[1], including the M5

Here’s what we know so far about their plans.

Who are Brexit Direct Action?

Logo of Brexit Direct Action

Brexit Direct Action describes itself as a protest group championing the UK’s departure from the European Union. The pro-Brexit group describes itself as being “against the government’s Withdrawal Agreement which is not Brexit” and demand a “clean Brexit from the EU”. Unhappy with the likely prospect of UK extending Article 50 and delaying Brexit, supporters are going to take to the country’s roads to protest.

What are they trying to do?

What we know so far about 'Brexit blockades' on M5 as lorry drivers threaten to stage UK-wide protestsWhat the M5 could look like if lorries block lanes on the busy motorway

Brexit Direct Action aim to organise ‘go-slow’ blockades on the country’s major motorways in order to “bring this country to its knees”.

Lorry drivers will drive slowly on the roads or even stop on carriageways to deliver their pro-Brexit message. The group previously shared on Twitter: “Several social media groups have been in contact to ask if we’ll help gather support for a national truck drivers protest if #Brexit[2] is delayed. “Brexiteers all over the country are planning to bring this country to its knees by blocking the main arterial routes – M1, M6 M25, M62, A1, A55, M5, M4, M42, M55, M61, A66 etc.

“If you live close to one of these major motorways and are willing to take part then prepare to move at short notice. “Don’t worry about the legal side of things, the national organiser is sorting that out.” The Twitter page has also shared local protests from supporters, namely on the M5 and M4 near Bristol.

A spokesman for the group has also stated ‘go-slow’ protests isn’t its only method. He said: “Group are helping to coordinate various protest movements such as; March to Leave – Multiple haulers in organised go-slows, petitions to local political party associations and publicity.”

When will these protests take place?

What we know so far about 'Brexit blockades' on M5 as lorry drivers threaten to stage UK-wide protestsCould huge lorry tailbacks, as seen in Dover, become a more regular sight after Brexit?

Brexit Direct Action aims to have protests before and on March 29. Several protests have reportedly been planned for this weekend, starting during the Friday evening rush hour, lasting until the early hours of Saturday.

The M5 protest is yet to be officially planned by protesters, although some motorists are trying to arrange a blockade at junction 30 in Exeter. The Brexit Direct Action Twitter account shared a message asking for help with organising the action. The message reads: “Hi, blocking the M5 northbound at junction 30 would bring a huge area to a standstill.

“It would also block most traffic to Exeter. “I’ve only just started to try and arrange, but I don’t know many people here. Any ideas?”

What has been the reaction so far?

What we know so far about 'Brexit blockades' on M5 as lorry drivers threaten to stage UK-wide protestsWhat a Brexit protest on the M5 could cause

Much like Brexit, social media has been left divided by the tactic to disrupt the country’s roads.

Bo Jack said: “That’s great! Hope it causes enough chaos to make the Government think! Jamie Izzard agreed and shared: “Good.

Let’s get every city in the country at a standstill until the MPs listen.” One Twitter user said he remembers the UK fuel price protests in 2000 and believes the Brexit blockade would “be even more effective” in getting the demonstrators’ voices across to lawmakers. While some users on social media said they wanted to help “in any way that I can” or believes “you can’t put a price on freedom”, one motoring company has questioned the plans.

A spokesman for the AA believed the blockades will cause disruption and more problems around the country. He said: “The history of protests that disrupt fuel and roads is that, although there may be sympathy at the outset, that erodes the longer the disruption goes on.” A Highways England spokesman said he was aware of the planned protest, before adding: “Our focus is on providing a safe, reliable network for the millions of drivers who use our motorways and major A roads every day.”

Read More

‘Brexit Blockade’ plans by lorry drivers

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  • What we know so far about 'Brexit blockades' on M5 as lorry drivers threaten to stage UK-wide protestsBlockade plans called ‘sheer idiocy’
  • What we know so far about 'Brexit blockades' on M5 as lorry drivers threaten to stage UK-wide protestsLorry drivers threaten UK-wide blockades

Josh Butler called the protest plans “sheer idiocy” and shared: “Brexiteers trying to cripple the country to force Brexit through.

“Brexit will cripple the country without this lot blocking motorways. Sheer idiocy.” Tim Mander offered a sobering opinion and asked those supporting the blockade to think about if their family or friends who might be ill and how they might be affected by the blockage.

He said: “(I) just hope any of you half-wits supporting this don’t need to have a relative or close friend ferried to hospital on the day the motorway is blocked or life depends on medication being delivered.” Bob Ormrod said: “Wait until Brexit happens. There will massive traffic jams at every port and the channel tunnel.

“Then you will have made your point.” What are your views on the blockade protest? Will it work?

Get in touch: [email protected][3] , tweet @JournoMikeT[4] or call 01935 709742.

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  1. ^ to put on mass blockades of Britain’s major transport links (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  2. ^ #Brexit (www.facebook.com)
  3. ^ [email protected] (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  4. ^ @JournoMikeT (twitter.com)
  5. ^ Facebook (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  6. ^ Twitter (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  7. ^ here (www.facebook.com)
  8. ^ here (www.facebook.com)
  9. ^ @BathLive (twitter.com)
  10. ^ @SomersetLive (twitter.com)

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