An angry grandmother confronted a group of Remain campaigners as the Brexit debate burst onto the streets of Sunderland.
Pensioner Mary Ganning slammed protesters demonstrating against Theresa May’s triggering of Article 50 yesterday.
The 70-year-old told the group her father had fought in the war to stop Britain being ‘dictated to’ and they should go back to school to learn about history.
Footage taken on a mobile phone shows her shouting: ‘(The EU) has ruined this country and brought it right down. Why did my dad fight in the war? The Germans. They are dictating to us.’
A woman in the background is seen clapping as one of the protesters shouts ‘rubbish’.
Undeterred, Mrs Ganning retorts: ‘How is it rubbish?’
A well spoken protester replies saying: ‘You are 70-years-old, you obviously know what the country was like…’
But she cuts him off, saying: ‘It was better. It was a lot better. We were not dictated to by a set of Germans. You can not do anything unless you get permission off them.’
As Mary walks away, she tells them: ‘You want to go back to school and find out about history.’
Just over two dozen people had gathered outside Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens yesterday as Mrs Ganning walked to the bus stop on her way home.
They were waving blue and yellow starred flags, singing the European anthem and chanting ‘EU we love you’.
Mrs Ganning, whose father served as a soldier in the Lancashire fusiliers during the Second World War, said: ‘When I saw them I thought, “oh God!”. I said to them, “You’re too late, you’ve missed the boat!”
‘We have voted leave and they were wasting their time just standing there. I was overcome with emotion, I thought they were daft.
‘I tried to explain to them that they were too young to know what it was like in the 60s and before when we weren’t in the EU. It was better than it is now.
‘But they didn’t understand. They might not have been born when we joined the EU or before we joined the EU.’
She added: ‘I’m glad that we are leaving the EU. It might be tough but I dread to think what it could be like when my great-grandchildren grow up if we don’t.
‘My father went to war so we wouldn’t be dictated to by Germans and then we joined the EU and got dictated to by Brussels, Germany and the rest of them.
‘I’m pleased I spoke out.’
The protest was organised by the North East for Europe group, who are campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU.