Brexit: Council fears riots in Sheffield city centre

Fears over Brexit riots have forced Sheffield City Council to take action as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Brexit day was set to be 29 March, although this will no longer be the case and exit day will be mid-April at the earliest.

With approximately one million people marching for another vote at the weekend, and five million signing a petition to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU, tensions are running high among both remain and leave supporters.

Cllr Mark Jones, for Burngreave ward, implied there could be trouble whether or not Brexit takes place.

“All we can do as an authority is to say that if we leave Europe there may be civil unrest, and if we don’t leave Europe there may also be civil unrest.”

Councillors Mark Jones (left), and Keith Davis (right).

“We know the threat is real. We’ve seen the threat from the far-right and others.”

Former Green leader Natalie Bennett said anger over the EU issue could not be defended in some cases but can be understood.

She said: “Decades of neoliberalism are coming home to roost.”

Another councillor said there are no concrete plans for Brexit on the part of the local authority.

Cllr Keith Davis, a former UKIP councillor who now sits as an independent representing Stocksbridge & Upper Don, added there is a heated mood in his ward.

“[The petition is] a load of rubbish, because it just kills democracy dead,” he said. “It’s already under threat and if you revoke Article 50, you may as well say it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.”