A 14-day protest march organised against a perceived Brexit "betrayal" and led by Nigel Farage is under way.
The first leg, organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign, set off from Sunderland and concludes in Hartlepool.
Mr Farage said: "If politicians think they can walk all over us, then we're going to march back and tell them they can't."
One counter-protester, Frank Hindle, said he was there "to point out that not everybody agrees with this crowd".
Anti-Brexit group Led By Donkeys plans to follow the march with two advertising vans displaying previous comments made by Mr Farage.
As Mr Farage arrived, counter protesters let off a flare in the EU colours, with shouts of "exit Brexit".
Addressing the crowd the former UKIP leader said: "The will of the people is very clear.
"If you see what has been happening in Parliament this week, we may well not be leaving the EU," he said.
There have been reports of scuffles and angry rows between some marchers and counter-protesters.
Some counter protesters carried love hearts saying "we love workers' rights" and "we love to have a say", but were branded "EU money grabbers" by marchers.
The procession will make its way to London in the course of two weeks and is expected to culminate in a rally in Parliament Square on 29 March, the original date for the UK to leave the European Union.
The walkers are due to travel from Hartlepool to Middlesbrough on Sunday.
According to the Leave Means Leave website, tickets for "core marchers" - priced at £50 for accommodation, breakfast and dinner for the duration of the 14-day event - have sold out.
Mr Farage aims to cover 100 miles of the 270-mile march.