Steve Bray, otherwise known as Mr. Stop Brexit, is still continuing his war against the current Tory government to reach his ultimate goal of seeing the UK as a member of the European Single Market once again.
The 52-year-old activist had literally appeared from nowhere at Parliament Square and in front of Downing Street almost as soon as after the 2016 Brexit referendum, where a majority of Brits voted in favor of the country leaving the European Union.
Known by many as ‘Mr. Stop Brexit’ because of his slogan “Stop Brexit” that he loudly shouted very often during live news broadcasts near parliament to be heard by as many as he could reach until the UK left the EU on Jan. 31, 2021, Bray explained the reason he has been on the streets and said the anti-Brexit movement needed to be seen.
Looking back to the early days of his protest, he said what first angered him was that “this community voted predominantly to leave. There was no doubt in my mind they would pay the price for it, and it’s the poorest in our society who were picking up the tab for this corrupt government.”
“I’ve been going now for over six years, but what inspired me to set up the (protest) group was I could see there were lots of little groups doing different things, but nobody was actually boots on the ground, which is what is visual,” he told Anadolu Agency.
“And it was very important that no matter how many people came along that a message got out to the rest of the world that ‘Hey, this is not Britain, this is not what we are about.’”
Bray has continued his protest alongside and as a founding member of his political movement Stand of Defiance European Movement (SODEM) targeting a change in government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the establishment of a new government that could start working on re-joining the EU.
He is also critical of a series of new bills that would give more powers to security forces and limit the right to protest.
“But what’s happened now is it’s become bigger than Brexit because we have a government which is, in my opinion, trying to take us down the fascist path that we’ve already lost our freedom of movement by leaving the European Union,” he said.
“They’re now attacking the right to protest. They’re attacking reporters’ rights to criticize the government. That’s North Korea. That’s the old Soviet Union. It’s not what the United Kingdom is about.”
Often targeting government ministers and Tory lawmakers with his questions on various allegations on government spending and other issues, Bray, who is no-doubt one of the most colorful characters in Westminster, openly calls them “liars.”
He told Anadolu Agency that Johnson “belongs in prison, not Number 10.”
His interesting tactics in protesting the Tory government and Johnson include playing the Russian national anthem loudly as the prime minister leaves Downing Street for parliament in protest against a delay in publishing the Russia report which looks into Russian involvement in British elections and referenda.
Taking the opportunity to further target Johnson after reports appeared in the British press on coronavirus lockdown parties held by Downing Street – an affair dubbed “partygate” – Bray last week played a made-up song telling the premier “goodbye” as Johnson was leaving for parliament for the last prime minister’s questions session before the recess.
“This man is a proven liar. He’s a cheat, a charlatan and a fraudster. He should not be in Number 10. The man needs to be on trial and he needs to be sentenced for what he’s done to the United Kingdom,” he said.
Welcoming Anadolu Agency into his flat, the headquarters of his operations, Bray said his protests with SODEM are crowdfunded by mainly the remainers — those in favor of the UK remaining in the EU.
His dedication to his cause to replace the Tory government with a new one that would start thinking of rejoining the EU is well evident in his flat, which is full of pro-EU banners and placards.
Bray said he is a self-employed numismatist based in South Wales but he would stay in London “as long as it takes.”
“Never give up hope,” said Bray, conveying his message to all who would like to see the UK as a member of the EU again.
“It’s just a question of when, not if. But this will be undone,” he said.
“It may take a long time to recover, but don’t give up hope. Keep up the fight. And united together for a better future.”
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