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Bob Geldof clashes with fishermen and Nigel Farage during Brexit campaign.

By Bess Browning

Bob Geldof has clashed with fishermen, including a fleet from Faversham, as they descended on Westminster to back the Brexit campaign.

Bluey Walpole of Hollowshore Fisheries and his family were alongside hundreds of others, including Ukip leader Nigel Farage today as they sailed up the Thames.

They had left from the Swale estuary early this morning and were met with a small group of opposition as they arrived in the capital, with some Remain protesters setting out on boats themselves - including Faversham's very own Sir Bob.

Bob Geldof on a boat in the Thames this afternoon.
Bob Geldof on a boat in the Thames this afternoon.

A huge chunk of the fishing community hopes that Britain will vote to leave on June 23 because of a number of controls and rules brought in when we joined the EU, sharing out British resources with the rest of the continent.

As a small fishery, Mr Walpole fears for the future of his family-run business.

According to the Fishing for Leave campaign, since joining the EU, 60% of the British fleet has been scrapped, other EU countries are receiving grants from British tax payers money to build new boats to fish in British waters and 60% of fish quota in UK waters is now in foreign hands. That means that one billion fish are caught in British waters by foreign boats.

The Faversham fishermen set out on the Brexit campaign.
The Faversham fishermen set out on the Brexit campaign.

They say that since joining the EU, the number of British fishermen has dropped from 40,000 to under 12,000.

Mr Walpole said: “The sad thing about it for the likes of me and others is that I left school at 14-years-old to go into the fishing industry because it was thriving, and so much has changed since then.

“My sons work with me but they both have had to get other jobs because we earn so much less money now.

Bluey Walpole sails down the Thames as part of the Brexit campaign.
Bluey Walpole sails down the Thames as part of the Brexit campaign.

“People from Europe, from France, from Spain and Italy, looking to buy fish used to come to England to buy from us, but now they know they can fish in our English waters and we have lost the fish from our own pond which used to generate jobs for us.

“If we remain in the EU and this system continues, I fear there is no future for small fishermen.

“It will be a very sad day if we remain.”

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