19th May 2024
People's Vote March
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A million march in London to demand ‘people’s vote’

Organisers estimated a million opponents of Britain’s departure from the European Union joined the Put it to the People March in London on Saturday, as the UK remains in political paralysis over Brexit.

In one of the biggest protests that London has seen in decades, the march called for another referendum on EU membership.

With a wide range of anti-Brexit signs and EU flags, people gathered at Hyde Park before walking to Westminster.

‘The message is clear: stop Brexit,’ said the leader of the UK”s Liberal Democrats party, Vince Cable, who led the vast crowd which set off at lunchtime ahead of a rally outside parliament.

‘We are now a Remain country. Nearly 90% of young voters who weren’t allowed to vote in 2016 would vote to remain,’ he added.

People's Vote March
The People’s Vote March in Westminster on 23 March 2019 (Photo courtesy of organisers ‘People’s Vote UK’ via Twitter / @peoplesvote_uk)

In Westminster the speakers included Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and opposition Labour deputy leader Tom Watson.

Many other political figures also joined the demonstration, including Independent Group MPs who quit Britain’s two mainstream parties – the Conservatives and Labour – last month in protest at their Brexit policies.

With the protest coming just days after EU leaders granted a delay to Brexit, people are increasingly hopeful they could still force a public vote.

Meanwhile a parallel online petition to revoke Article 50 so that the UK remains in the EU has now received over 4 million hits.

This week’s agreed delay to Brexit, which was set for 29 March, has prompted British Prime Minister Theresa May to make a renewed bid to win MPs’ backing for her deal.

If she succeeds, Britain will depart on 22 May under the terms of the withdrawal agreement the prime minister struck with Brussels last year.

But if MPs vote against the agreement yet again – and as expected – the UK will need to outline a new plan or face a no-deal Brexit as early as 12 April – unless it decides to request another extension and hold European Parliament elections in May.

Hosted by the People’s Vote pressure group, Saturday’s protest follows a similar demonstration in October that drew an estimated half a million people.

Theresa May has repeatedly ruled out holding another referendum on the issue, claiming it would be divisive and renege on promises to honour the 2016 referendum result.


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