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Nigel Farage Led An Anti-EU Flotilla Down The Thames But Bob Geldof Fought Back

This really happened.

Originally posted on
Updated on

In today's EU referendum news, Nigel Farage has led a flotilla of Brexit-backing fishing vessels up the Thames.

Really.

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After the flotilla passed through Tower Bridge it as met by a boat carrying UKIP leader Farage, who arrived to take charge on an open-top bus blasting out the theme from The Great Escape. (Although one of his aides pointed out it may not be appropriate given many of the people in the The Great Escape ultimately die.)

They were met by a squadron of Remain-supporting lifeboats led by Bob Geldof.

Really.

Here's Geldof goading Farage after the rival fleets met.

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Farage's flotilla of fishing vessels opposed to the EU – officially called Fishing for Leave – travelled to outside the House of Commons for the final Prime Minister's Questions before the referendum.

To add to the drama, leading anti-EU campaigner Boris Johnson's sister Rachel was on one of the pro-EU boats taking on the Leave armada.

Things seemed to escalate quickly.

SHOTS FIRED! A Leave vessel just hit Remain supporters with a hose

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Geldof, previously of the Boomtown Rats, kept steering his own boat close to Farage's flagship before shouting very, very loudly through an enormous sound system designed to drown out the UKIP leader.

Increasingly think Bob Geldof is preparing to board Farage's boat. Thames is a total mess. The hell is happening.

Just to reiterate, this really happened.

"Bob Geldof under attack from Farage-led rebel fishermen on the Thames"

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But still, most people couldn't quite believe what they were seeing.

Please tell me the pro-Brexit flotilla of ships heading up the Thames is a joke and not actually happening and I'm having a bad dream

And now we're all just saying "the Brexit flotilla" like it was COMPLETELY NORMAL.

"man we are really struggling to get people engaged in this referendum" "what about... A FLOTILLA ON THE THAMES"

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But it was real. Totally. Absolutely.

BREAKING: The state of British politics summed up in a clip of a flotilla face-off

Horns filling central London as the pro-Brexit flotilla attempts to drown out Bob Geldof's boat soundsystem.

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Just what was going on?

Brexit flotilla’s star trawler was involved in £63m fishing fraud >> https://t.co/TT5flMEpcO

Seriously, what was going on?

I ask Nigel Farage why he's taken up cigarettes again. Farage: "I think the doctors have got it wrong on smoking"

WHAT HAPPENED

Harbour Master is frantically gesturing at the Geldof boat. Geldof is screaming. Someone just accused a dinghy of being from Goldman Sachs.

Where was it all going to end?

Sad how the referendum has descended into... Naval gazing.

Geldof's boat has some extremely loud speakers.

I'm under aural attack from Bob Geldof who has the loudest soundsystem known to man and is haranguing Farage.

By this point Geldof was shaking his fists at Farage while making wanker signs and shouting "you're no fisherman's friend" through the soundsystem.

In response Farage told reporters on the boat that Geldof was a "crap pop star" who has "come to laugh at the poor people".

Farage was unhappy with Geldof.

Multimillionaire Bob Geldof on the Thames mocking our declining fishing industry and families who have had their lives destroyed by the EU.

And some journalists on the Farage boat started shouting at other journalists on the anti-Farage boat, claiming it was all paid for by mega super bank Goldman Sachs.

A man from Brietbart is shouting "who paid for your boat" at a protest boat full of Vice journalists and this is the future then.


As the flotilla finally reached parliament it was accompanied by a small fleet of trawlers, several police boats, and three helicopters hovering overhead.

On board the SS Brexit (note: not its real name), UKIP leader Farage said the actions of the Remain campaigners on the Thames were "disgusting".

"They are rich people laughing at poor people," he said. "They are multi-millionaires happy to see [the fishing] industry go to the wall."

Geldof meanwhile told ITV News the EU referendum was "too serious to be left to charlatans" like Farage. He said he was on the Thames to "point out the facts about fishing".

“The facts are that Britain makes more money than any other EU country in Europe from fishing," he said.

But it wasn't quite over – outside parliament, with MPs looking on, a trawler called "Wayward Lad" pushed up against Geldof's boat and two people went on board to have a chat.

Trawlermen are trying to board Bob Geldof's boat outside parliament. Not a joke. Police intervening.

And then it was all over. And thanks to dozens of boats, a few skirmishes, a lot of shouting, and total chaos on the Thames the EU referendum campaign hit its most bizarre point so far.

Listening back to my recording of Geldof's rant at Farage. "GO BACK DOWN THE RIVER, COS YOU’RE UP ONE WITHOUT A CANOE! OR, ER, A PADDLE!"


Matthew Champion is a deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Matthew Champion at matthew.champion@buzzfeed.com.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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