People from across the UK gathered on a sunny afternoon in London to take part in what may be the biggest public protest over Brexit since the referendum in 2016.
The march, which organizers estimated drew 700,000 people to west London’s Park Lane, was called by People’s Vote, a group that’s campaigning for the public to have a say on any final Brexit deal, so that the ruling Conservative government can’t force it through Parliament.
“We believe Brexit can be stopped,” Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrat party, said in a speech during the march, which included a rally across the street from the Houses of Parliament. “Only the people can resolve this mess.”
A summit of European Union leaders in Brussels this week, which was slated to be the meeting at which an exit agreement would be struck, instead ended with major hurdles still to be overcome. As the March 29, 2019 deadline for Britain to officially leave the EU draws ever closer, the twists and turns in negotiations have the general public divided, investors and businesses anxious and the volatile pound weaker.
“Some of the promises made two years ago, clearly have not materialized,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a video on the group’s website before the march. “Nobody was talking about a bad Brexit deal, nobody was talking about no deal whatsoever. The British public should have a say on whether they accept the outcome of those negotiations, with the option of staying in the EU.”
In a video shown at the event, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her Scottish National Party supports a people’s vote. “There’s no deal, none, that provides all of the same benefits as EU membership,” she said.