Anti-Brexit OAP declares Gloucestershire home a republic

A retired university lecturer has declared his Gloucestershire home an independent republic in a bid to defy Brexit.

Dr William Riches, 77, from Newnham on Severn, said he is making a stand because he disagrees with the UK withdrawing from the European Union.

He lives in the Forest of Dean where 59% of people voted to leave.

The staunch Remainer says he cannot see a future for the country, as first reported by Gloucestershire Live.

He added: “48% of the voters have been totally ignored and so our only way of becoming outside the Brexit movement was by declaring independence.”

‘Free speech’

Dr Riches has named his new state the Independent Republic of Middlewatch after his house, and made wife Judith president.

He has also declared his kitchen as the official seat of government and even proposes to charge £50 per visa to UK citizens who want to visit his house.

“We don’t want to go against democracy, but for those of us who remain who have been totally ignored, there is only one option – independence,” Dr Riches said.

“The rest of the country will leave the European Union but we won’t.”

Mrs Riches added: “We’re respecting the vote, not overturning it. It’s free speech.”

Following the EU referendum in June last year, a petition calling for London to seek independence from the rest of the country was signed by more than 180,000 people.

Dr Riches has not explained how he would officially secede from the UK.

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