Up to one million joined Brexit protest march, say organisers

#Brexit special section Commentary Daily news

An estimated one million people packed the streets of London yesterday to call for a second EU referendum as the UK’s Brexit deadlock continued.

The ‘Put It To The People’ march drew support from across the political spectrum, with many leading figures addressing huge crowds at a rally after the march.

They included Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Tory former Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

The rally came after EU leaders agreed to delay the UK’s departure from the EU and as Prime Minister Theresa May came under renewed pressure over her stalled withdrawal deal.

Reports today suggested that cabinet ministers have joined growing calls for her to step aside and allow a new leader to complete the Brexit process.

The rally was one of the largest ever seen in the capital, on a par with the march against the Iraq War in 2003.

Although there was no official count, the size of the crowds surprised the organisers and protestors were still arriving in Parliament Square five hours after the march began.

Tom Watson told the crowd in Parliament Square that his message for Mrs May was simple: “I can only vote for a deal if you let the people vote on it too.”

He added: “Prime Minister, you’ve lost control of this process, you’re plunging the country into chaos, let the people take control.”

SNP leader Sturgeon said now was a moment of ‘maximum opportunity’ to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Celebrities, including Game Of Thrones star Lena Headey, Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, also joined the march.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan joined demonstrators at start of the march and brandished a ‘Put it to the People’ banner.

Meanwhile, the pro-Brexit March to Leave, which started in Sunderland a week ago, reached Nottingham today, where it was joined by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

He told an estimated 200 crowd that Mrs May had reduced the UK to a ‘state of humiliation’ and that those on the anti-Brexit march in London were ‘not the majority’.

Theresa May wrote to MPs on Friday to say she will scrap plans to put her deal to an third meaningful vote if there is not enough support for it.

Unless it is passed by Parliament, the UK must put forward an alternative plan to avoid crashing out without a deal on April 12

An online online petition on Parliament’s website calling for Brexit to be cancelled by revoking Article 50 has attracted more than five million signatures.

The petition’s creator, Margaret Georgiadou, said she had received telephone death threats and a ‘torrent of abuse’ on her Facebook account.

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