The People’s Vote march to Parliament Square is set to become the biggest demonstration of public anger over Brexit since the referendum two years ago.
The march, being held on the second anniversary of the EU referendum in 2016, will demand a People’s Vote on whatever deal Theresa May’s government manages to agree on Brexit before any final decision is taken.
Headline speakers will include politicians such as Labour’s David Lammy and the Conservative’s Anna Soubry, as well as Vince Cable and Caroline Lucas, the leaders of the Liberal Democrat and Green parties. They will be joined on stage by celebrities and local campaigners for a rally in Parliament Square at the end of the march.
Above all, the march will show the momentum that is gathering – on the streets, as well as in Parliament and online - behind demands for a People’s Vote. There will be speeches from businesses large and small, campaigners like Gina Miller, who led the successful legal challenge to government Brexit policy in the Supreme Court, and representatives of more than 130 grassroots campaign groups that have sprung up across the country in recent months.
Other platform speakers will include leading trade union figures who know Brexit will hurt working people first and worst, and students’ leader Amatey Doku - reflecting the fury of young people who feel betrayed by the Brexit deal being imposed on them by politicians in Westminster. An activist will read out letters from German citizens urging Britain to step back from the brink and find ways of staying part of the European family.
The march, from Pall Mall to Parliament Square at 12pm on June 23, will be accompanied by a samba band and include not only politicians and celebrities but also citizens from every region of the UK and all walks of life. These will include 96-year-old Brigadier Stephen Goodall, a decorated World War Two veteran, together with nurses, farmers, fisherman, factory workers, truck drivers and even a contingent of dog-owners who are bringing their pets.
The last big demonstration on Brexit, which took place on March 25, 2017, attracted tens of thousands of people. Early signs suggest this march will be bigger with four times as many coaches booked to take people to London from every region of England, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In recent days up to 1,000 People’s Vote activists have distributed more than half a million leaflets publicising the march while attendance will be further swelled by 150 billboard poster advertisements across the capital and a concerted social media campaign. The numbers registering for the march and rally on June 23 have rocketed in recent days as decisions taken in Westminster made it clear the government is set on a bad deal Brexit deal that will damage Britain.
The march is entirely funded by small donations from a crowd-sourced campaign that hit its six-figure target within seven days of being launched last month.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said: “We go on this march with a simple message: Brexit is not inevitable. Negotiations have been chaotic: the prospect of a good deal for the UK more remote than ever, the promise of a safe deal for Ireland appearing emptier by the day. This is not the situation that anyone, be they Leaver or Remainer, voted for. And that means the people must have the final say on the deal.”
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said: “I am really looking forward to this march, which will be a people’s march for a People’s Vote. Across the country, not just in London, British people are deeply worried about the mess the government has made of Brexit. This is too big to ignore and too important to be left to politicians. Join us on the June 23 to demand your right for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”
Caroline Lucas, Green Party Co-Leader, said: “This demonstration comes at a crucial juncture for the country. With the wheels of the Brexit bus coming off, and with so much new information that wasn’t known two years ago, there’s a real momentum growing for a People's Vote. I am proud to be marching with thousands of others who are demanding their democratic rights and standing up to the Brexiteers in Government.”