An anti-Brexit group planted 42 European flags last night along Southend’s beaches.

Bemused residents and passers-by woke yesterday morning to see a European flag hung from every groyne post along the seafront, set out to celebrate Europe Day.

Responsibility for the stunt was claimed by self-proclaimed ‘bresistance’ - Brexit resistance - group, EU Flag Mafia, who have organised similar stunts and encouraged people to display European flags to raise awareness of opposition to the UK’s exit from the European Union.

A spokesperson from EU Flag Mafia said: “42 flags have been planted from the pier to Leigh on sea at low tide. Every opinion poll since last June is for remaining now as the facts emerge.

“We’ll lose everything from mobile phone roaming to Europol. People didn’t realise they were voting to leave Europol or the protected food names scheme or Erasmus.

“They just heard the stories of bendy bananas and car parking space sizes and many because of ‘immigrants’, forgetting how many British ‘immigrants’ in Europe would be affected.

“The list goes on. The EU ain’t perfect, but Brexit is not the answer.”

Southend Council took to Facebook to ask the group responsible to remove the flags. They said: “We cordially invite Eu Flag Mafia to remove these 40+ flags at low tide.

“While we respect your right to express your views, clearing up after this stunt is not a good use of officers’ time or council tax-payers’ money. Low tide is at 13:43 today.”