Bob Geldof weighed in on the EU referendum debate in dramatic fashion as he clashed with UKIP leader Nigel Farage in the so-called “battle for the Thames”.
Mr Farage was part of a protest on the river in central London, which involved a flotilla of 60 vessels displaying their support for Brexit.
He said the procession, which travelled under Tower Bridge and moved past Parliament, was “not a celebration or a party, but a full-throttled protest” against EU membership.
Geldof formed part of a counter-protest, which saw several speedboats adorned with ‘In’ flags and banners weave in and out of the much larger ‘Out’ flotilla.
— ITV News (@itvnews) June 15, 2016
He was joined on his particular vessel by Rachel Johnson, the sister of former London Mayor Boris Johnson and a prominent Remain campaigner.
They blasted out the song “In With the In Crowd” on a large, on-board sound system.
► VIDEO: Bob Geldof and Nigel Farage in bizarre Brexit clash on boats https://t.co/nrqnRIqm3a
— Irish Times Video (@irishtimesvideo) June 15, 2016
There were no reports of actual violence during the “battle”, other than some reports that a Remain craft was targeted by water from a fishing boat’s hose.
Fishing has been a flashpoint during the referendum debate, with Mr Farage claiming that EU membership has “destroyed our industry”.
He cited Norway, which is outside the EU, as having a successful fishing programme, which the UK could emulate if it opts to Leave next Thursday 23 June.
“We want our waters back,” said Mr Farage, MEP for South East England since 1999 and who has twice failed to be elected as an MP for the party he leads, UKIP, in 2010 and 2015.
“Fish stock that should be within the UK’s internationally-recognised territorial waters is now shared with our European partners.
“This has led to a 60 per cent drop in oversized landings and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in our industry,” said Mr Farage, by way of explanation of the waterborne protest.
Bob Geldof doesn’t think much of the Brexit flotilla pic.twitter.com/9IAJnCrmPg
— i newspaper (@theipaper) June 15, 2016