In a coordinated operation carried out early this morning, police forces across the country swept to arrest and charge the leaders of several battle re-enactment societies.

Chief Inspector Charles Stuart told reporters: ‘For too long we have allowed this open sore to fester and we are acting now before Brexit is implemented so the UK can start afresh with the slate wiped clean.’

‘These people are fully-grown adults, for heaven’s sake, and really should know better. Look, if they want to make complete and utter fools of themselves in public then what’s wrong with joining The Brexit Party… or taking up Morris Dancing?’

It’s understood that four men have been released and bailed to appear before magistrates in November to face charges of ‘Gross Pillockery’, an archaic law that was thought to have been struck from the statute book over two-hundred years ago, but was subsequently found never to have been repealed.

However the police action has upset many keen re-enactment supporters with one Sealed Knot spokesman, Oliver Cromwell, hitting back. ‘This is a disgrace. We’re just a group of like-minded people giving the public a lot of fun with a wonderfully colourful, exciting and educational spectacle into the bargain. If we didn’t have this then Christ knows what we’d be getting up to. Eh, know what I’m saying?’

‘What’s more a charge of Gross Pillockery has has not been brought before the courts since 1775, and if we really must have one, then how about charging those patently guilty of the crime like Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove?’