Man declares home a 'republic' in protest against Brexit

Visitors need a passport to be allowed inside

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Credits: GloucestershireLive / SWNS.com

An angry pensioner has declared his home a 'republic' in protest against the country's decision to leave the European Union.

Retired academic William Riches confirmed his home in Severnside as independent, with visitors needing a passport and citizenship to step inside.

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The 77-year-old former university lecturer has made wife Judith President and given his children and grandchildren citizenship.

But the well-travelled Europhile says when Britain does eventually leave, visitors will require a visa costing at least £50 to enter their three-storey home on the High Street in the village of Newnham on Severn, reports Gloucestershire Live .

A notice in the front window of the terraced home called Middlewatch, reads: "The Independent Republic of Middlewatch.

"This Republic is a proud member of the European Union.

"All non-EU residents wishing to visit the Republic must have a valid EU passports."

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Dr Riches could not find a dark blue EU flag anywhere locally but his son, who lives in Germany, sent one over from the continent where they are commonplace so he could display it alongside his notice in the window.

"I am a staunch Remainer and cannot see a future for this country now," said Dr Riches. "All our literature, all our art, all our culture, all our history is intertwined with Europe so the idea that we are not part of Europe, that we are some small but significant little island, just annoyed me so much I had to do something..

"I was so mad after the vote to leave that I decided to put the signs up and declare my home an independent republic.

"I feel very strongly that the wishes of the 48 per cent of us who voted remain are being totally ignored so this is the only way I have left to protest. If I could declare us a republic and join Europe I probably would. Maybe I'll look into it."

His poster has echoes of the 1949 Ealing comedy Passport to Pimlico , which stars Stanely Holloway and Margaret Rutherford as residents of a small part of London which claims links to the House of Burgundy so it can avoid the strict rationing and other post war restrictions in force in the rest of the UK.

Man declares home a republic after brexit

William's poster Ealing comedy 1949 comedy Passport to Pimlico, which claims links to the House of Burgundy so it can avoid the strict rationing and other post war restrictions

Credits: PD UNKNOWN

A scene from Passport to Pimlico

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Vice President of the Republic, Dr Riches worked in universities in America, Canada and Northern Ireland before retiring to the picturesque Forest of Dean village in his native Gloucestershire.

His son, who was born in Ireland, has successfully applied for Irish and German citizenship post referendum and his daughter lives in America.

Dr Riches and his wife fear it is their grandchildren's generation who will suffer from Brexit and put a notice in the window before the vote imploring older people to consider the wishes of the majority of the 18-35-year-olds who wanted to remain in Europe.

"I don't understand why the older generation voted against their children," said Dr Riches. "And I'd bet that the majority of people in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales would not be able to pass the citizenship exam that people have to take now."

Credits: REUTERS

UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis, left, is welcomed by the European Commission's Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier

Credits: AFP

David Davis and Michel Barnier speak during a meeting at the European Union

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Wife Judith has also worked all over the world and is upset that European friends who have lived here for decades and made their life in the UK now have to shell out thousands of pounds for red tape to allow them to stay with their families in this country.

"I think it's about time older people got their heads out of the clouds and recognised that the world doesn't go backwards, that things will never go back to the way they were when they were young," she said.

"We were born before the war, it's not our time any more. It will take ten years so many of us will probably be dead before it happens.

"I don't think the notice will change any minds because our friends and neighbours voted remain anyway, but it's our way of making a protest and people who come here often apologise for not bringing their passports."


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