POLITICS
14/06/2019 15:30 BST

Exclusive: Activists Threaten Wildcat Strikes If Boris Johnson Commits To No-Deal Brexit As PM

"We will make the country ungovernable," say coalition of left-wing campaigners.

SIPA USA/PA Images

The UK faces wildcat strikes and civil disobedience if Boris Johnson commits to a no-deal Brexit as prime minister, a group of campaigners have warned. 

HuffPost UK has learnt that a coalition of left-wing activists will launch a “summer of resistance” in a bid to “make the country ungovernable” if the next prime minister tries to rip the UK from Europe with no agreement. 

Another Europe Is Possible (AEIP) is organising a new anti-Brexit group called the Left Bloc, which will bring together thousands of grassroots campaigners from Labour, the Green Party and the trade union movement, to employ the tactics of climate protestors Extinction Rebellion. 

The group is plotting “mass occupations of public space, disruptive protests, and even wildcat strike action” throughout the summer. 

Johnson came top of the first ballot of Tory MPs in the race to be the party’s next leader and prime minister. 

The ex-Mayor of London has said that, while he wants a deal with Brussels, he will be willing to take Britain out of the European Union “at any cost”. 

Other candidates for the top job, including Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab, have said they would also be willing to take the UK out of Europe without a deal. 

Johnson, who is the clear favourite to take the crown after the vote goes out to Conservative Party members, and Raab have said they would be willing to suspend - officially known as “prorogue” - parliament in order to frustrate any bid by MPs to derail a no-deal exit. 

But the new PM, who will be elected by Tory members with the backing of MPs, will face claims they do not have a mandate. 

A major anti-Brexit demonstration, called ‘March For Change’, is planned for July 20 and will mark the Left Bloc fire the starting gun on its campaign of resistance. 

The action comes in addition to the People’s Vote campaign’s protest in October, meaning the UK could be facing months of disruption. 

Michael Chessum, from AEIP, told HuffPost UK: “If a hardline Tory Prime Minister with no mandate drives us to the brink, we should be willing to use every non violent means at our disposal to drag us back from it. There’s no reason why this summer shouldn’t see mass occupations of public space, disruptive protests, and even wildcat strike action.” 

It comes as Jeremy Corbyn moves closer to backing a second referendum on Brexit, with the party’s conference in September likely to herald a chorus of activist demands for the leadership to take a fully pro-Remain stance. 

Alena Ivanova, another spokeswoman for AEIP, said this would mean “a mass and plural movement against Brexit” and various organisations holding speaker tours. 

She said: “But this movement needs to be radical, both tactically and politically - it has to become a hot summer of resistance, willing to disrupt the status quo.

“It is essential that the left is present in this movement, carving out a space for a politics that marries opposing Brexit to a programme to deliver jobs, homes and wages for everyone. If the establishment campaign of 2016 repeats itself, we will simply lose.”

Nadia Whittome, a Labour activist and member of Another Europe is Possible’s national committee, added: “The incoming Tory Prime Minister has no mandate, and if they try to force through No Deal, we simply won’t respect their right to govern. This is a fight for our rights, jobs and communities, and for the future of democracy in Britain, and we cannot be passive in it.”