Up to a million people took to the streets of London on Saturday afternoon, demanding a people’s vote on the final deal after London and Brussels agreed to a short extension to the Brexit date.
The demonstration is the largest anti-Brexit protest the country has seen and one of the largest overall, as people from all over the country travelled into London to voice their opposition to Brexit and its handling by the government.
British citizens living in Europe also flew into the capital on Friday to attend the march, demanding a final say on a decision they argue they couldn’t vote on in the 2016 EU referendum.
A protester who asked not to be named said he was “here because it is important that the U.K. stays in the European Union."
He told Anadolu Agency: “Brexit is going to cause extreme damage to the U.K. if we don’t stay in the EU. If we leave I can’t see… how the poor people of the country will benefit from that … We can't survive without the EU.”
Francois Minaar, a French-British protester, says he is “marching to get a second referendum on Brexit.”
He added: “We believe that, with Brexit, we will have a massive negative impact both on the economy but also on our relationships with other European countries. We would like to reverse the decision on Brexit.”
Martin Howard, a scientist from Norfolk who marched with his family, called Brexit "an absolute disaster.”
“People were lied to during the original referendum... And we deserve to have another chance to say what’s going to happen in the future to this country."
Howard added that the politicians in the country are “incapable of making any decision.
“So they should return to us for a final say, and we can decide what to do with the future.”
Claudia Howards, a Dutch-British protester who has lived in the U.K. for 18 years, said Brexit caused a lot of “discrimination” from day one.
She said Brexit has deprived poor people of the U.K. of sufficient investment, adding that “the government can't address the right problems at the moment.”
“I think it's just rubbish,” she said. “Brexit is useless.”
Graham Hibbert says he attended the march to promote a people’s vote on Brexit.
Attending today’s march from Rugby, Hibbert said: “I'm stopping Brexit.”
Kara from London said: “What’s happening is so so wrong for this country and the young people of this country.”
- Politicians join in march
A large number of MPs and public figures were at the march, including Anna Soubry of the Independent Group, Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, and special guest Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour party.
“The current impasse is not working for people who voted to leave or people who voted to stay. I really don’t think parliament will be able to resolve this,” Watson said in a statement.
“That’s why I’ve come to the reluctant view that the only way to resolve this and have legitimacy in the eyes of the public is for the people themselves to sign it off.”
The demonstration was organized by a plethora of movements, such as the People’s Vote Campaign, Another Europe is Possible, LabourSay, and Our Future Our Choice, all campaigning for a second referendum on the U.K.’s relationship with the European bloc.
Also at the demonstration was Nicola Sturgeon, the head of the Scottish National Party, who said: “The EU’s decision to postpone things until at least April 12 has opened a window, and those of us who oppose Brexit must seize the chance it offers.”
The procession of Pro-EU campaigners and Remainers began at Hyde Park and marched passed Pall Mall near the Queen’s residence, the prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square, and will end with a rally at Parliament Square, where MPs will address the mass crowds.
More than 4 million people this week signed an online petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked and for Brexit to be cancelled, crashing the petition’s servers several times in the process.
The march continued into the early hours of Saturday evening.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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