Remainer consultant quits job for last European tour to 'Stop Brexit'

17 August 2018 6 min. read
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A former consultant from Exeter has captured imaginations of Europhiles across the continent with his attempt to write “STOP BREXIT” across the continent, armed with only a van, a sat-nav, and his determination to abort the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Andy Pardy quit his day job and spent his life savings on the stunt, which has also provoked the ire of Brexit loyalists across Britain.

Regardless of anyone’s thoughts on Brexit, it is undeniable that Andy Pardy’s now notorious continental road-trip has taken the debate on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU to a different level of commitment. Having spent his early years in Germany – where his father was stationed with the British Army – Pardy later worked in Spain, and subsequently became a passionate pro-remainer during Britain’s 2016 referendum on EU membership.

The events of 23 June 2016 took many by surprise, with the UK backing the Leave campaign by a margin of 3%, but for Pardy the issue was far from resolved. The former digital transformation consultant from Exeter therefore took it upon himself to plan a mammoth trip across Europe, in a bid to raise awareness at home and abroad that there were still those who are committed to offsetting the UK’s protracted divorce from the Union. Having worked as a consultant for the past eight years, Pardy left his job to complete the challenge, and has said he is unsure if he will return to the profession after its completion.

Andy Pardy quits job for last European tour to 'Stop Brexit'

The entire trip took four weeks to plan, with Pardy then spending £6,000 on the trusty VW Transporter which has seen his undertake his trip, and a further £5,000 on the actual journey to 32 countries. Upon completion, the humungous series of circuits will have seen Pardy spell out “STOP BREXIT” across Europe, when his movements are viewed via a satellite navigation system wired to his personal ‘Rogue Consultant’ blog. In total, the journey will take in the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Andorra, Spain and Portugal.

According to Pardy’s updates, his efforts have so far gone off largely without a hitch, barring an ironic turn of events at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Taking place at the beginning of Pardy’s journey, while making progress towards a giant ‘S’ on the satellite system, the Rogue Consultant’s van passed through the two countries without his realising – something which may become a thing of the past, post-Brexit, as the two nations may be forced to erect a ‘hard border’ to enforce new customs arrangements, in a historic move which some critics have said could destabilise the previously troubled island once more.

Commenting on the incident, Pardy told the local press in Derry, "Driving along, drinking in the sights, I didn’t even notice that I’d crossed into Ireland. Only after a couple of miles did it dawn on me that the road markings had turned from white to yellow and the signage from miles to kilometres. Naturally, I turned around and found the exact transition spot.”


Pardy’s girlfriend, Katy, who is a nurse, joined him after the completion of the ‘S’ to accompany him on the likely once-in-a-lifetime journey. The pair have reportedly been living on supplied bought from Lidl in Salisbury, where Andy’s mother lives, before setting out, in order to shield themselves from the pricey living of Scandinavia, where a large chunk of the trip has so far taken place. The most recent update from the duo is that the ‘P’ is done though.

Via Twitter, Pardy wrote, “After roughly 2,500 km (including the journey from Namsskogan), the ‘P’ is finally complete! Experiencing the Northern regions of Norway, Sweden and Finland has been incredible.”

With the word “STOP” now emblazoned across the North of Europe, Pardy will refocus his effort on the West of Europe in the coming weeks, just in time for the heat-wave that has troubled the region in recent months to subside. Needless to say, meanwhile, the reaction to the ex-consultant’s quest has been as divided as anything relating to Brexit can be.

National papers including the Daily Mirror, the Independent and the New European have all featured broadly supportive commentary on his efforts in their pages over the past week. Elsewhere, users addressing Pardy directly via his blog seem universally supportive, with one praising the “brilliant idea and a great adventure to deliver an important message to the duped people of Britain.” Another added, “Well done, Andy! Help put a stop to these right wing crackpots. Best of luck.”

However, not all the coverage of Pardy’s marathon efforts have been as positive as the unsurprisingly glowing review from pro-EU New European. The Sun, one of the UK’s most famous conservative tabloids, labelled the former consultant a “Remoaner”, while a number of Twitter users lambasted the 28 year-old’s stunt for everything from spending £11,000 on the trip to wasting non-renewable energy for a “protest that literally no one on Earth can see.”

While the debate surrounding Brexit trundles on – seemingly without resolution even as the deadline of March 2019 rapidly approached – though, Pardy is convinced that he is at least doing his part to prevent what he and fellow Remainers have long billed as a disaster for UK households.

Speaking to the New European, he concluded, “I had the deposit for a house. And I was at the stage where it was like… I wouldn’t say I had a mid-life crisis, but I had to really think, ok, do I want to buy a house, be locked into a commitment whereby I have to stay in my job for the foreseeable future, or do I take that money and just do something like this? And I decided to do this. I might live to regret it, I might not…You know, I don’t think I will, to be honest.”