With Britain's departure from the European Union likely to be put on hold, some Brexit supporters fear their dream is dying.

But they aren't giving up without a fight — or at least, a long walk.

Hard-core Brexiteers led by former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage set out on a two-week "Leave Means Leave" march between northeast England and London, accusing politicians of "betraying the will of the people". They plan to finish at Parliament in London on March 29, the day the UK was supposed to leave. That deadline now looks unlikely. With British politicians deadlocked over departure terms, MPs voted last Friday to seek to delay Brexit until at least June 30.

"If you have seen what's happening in Parliament this week, we may well not be leaving the EU," said Farage, who doesn't plan to walk the entire route.

Advertisement

For the 100-200 Brexit believers who showed up to march on a wet, cold day, the gridlock in Parliament is confirmation that MPs have no intention on cutting the country's ties with the EU. "People now are just fed up with the whole situation and want to get out," said John Harrington. "Now with it being prolonged, it could just go on forever."

The marchers plan to travel through pro-Brexit heartlands starting in Sunderland, which voted to leave. Many here stand by that decision, despite warnings that Brexit could damage the local economy.

Jim Kerr, 60, said Sunderland has long been ignored by policymakers, whether in London or Brussels. "In the northeast, many of our industries have been closed. We lost our coal industry, our shipbuilding industry, our glassmaking industry ... No one (elsewhere) worried about it — people in London didn't worry about it, people in other parts of the country didn't worry about it."

A withdrawal agreement struck between May's Government and the bloc has twice been rejected by Parliament, which has also said it doesn't want to leave the EU without a deal. Amid the deadlock, Parliament voted this week to request an extension. May plans a third-time-lucky vote on her Brexit deal this week.

Delaying Brexit would require approval from all 27 remaining EU nations, who are fed up with the bickering in London. They say they will only grant an extension if Britain has a solid plan for what to do.

- AP