Morning Briefing: Welcome to our Together for the Final Say march on London
Welcome to a special Together for the Final Say morning briefing as hundreds of thousands of us make our way to Central London for an epic and vitally important People’s Vote march.
This march has been planned for months, long before anyone knew what a momentous day this would be. MPs are sitting on a Saturday for the first time since the Falklands War, debating a proposed agreement that will not “get Brexit done” and could still lead to a catastrophic No Deal.
Thank you to everyone who has travelled from all over the country to ensure your voice is heard, to give full-throated support for the Final Say vote that is still the only democratic way to resolve this political and national crisis. And if you are thinking of giving it a miss, because it's a "done deal": get up, get out and join us, because this isn't over yet! Not by a long chalk...
Opposition to Johnson's stitch-up grows over 2020 No Deal fears
Opposition to Boris Johnson’s duplicitous “deal” is growing as everyone starts to see behind the bluster and understands the devil of the detail: it is a damaging path to deregulation, a danger to the Good Friday Agreement and a straightforward route to the No Deal that he and his right-wing allies have always demanded.
But we won’t fall for the rhetoric, we won’t allow the nation to be railroaded into a disastrous future simply because we are all “fed up” of hearing about Brexit. It is too important for that.
Lord Heseltine, the Conservative former Deputy Prime Minister and one of our illustrious speakers today, has written to every Conservative MP calling on them not to give indicative approval to Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit proposal.
In his letter, Lord Heseltine states: “I do not call on any Conservative colleague to defy the whip lightly. I understand the temptation to just get this over with, supposedly to ‘get Brexit done’. But this would not get Brexit done. “
"It will, instead, be the start of a long and bitter series of negotiations for our country which could still end in a No Deal outcome.”
His call comes as former Prime Ministers and political foes Sir John Major and Tony Blair came together to call for the Johnson hard Brexit plan to be rejected, warning of the dangers to peace in Northern Ireland.
And former Conservative Chancellor Philip Hammond told the Times that he “will not be duped into voting for a heavily-camouflaged No Deal at the end of 2020”.
MPs meet inside Westminster to debate Brexit as we rally outside the gates
While we are heading to Parliament Square, MPs will be sitting today with a number of amendments laid down to ensure it is not simply a “Johnson deal versus No Deal” face-off.
Conservative rebel Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment calling for an extension of Article 50 is aimed at ensuring the Safeguard Act is triggered and No Deal doesn’t sneak through “by accident”.
People’s Vote supporters Peter Kyle MP and Phil Wilson MP tabled an amendment to ensure that there will be a Final Say referendum if Johnson fails to get approval for his withdrawal proposals today, to ensure there is No Deal.
We can’t predict what will happen in the Commons today, but this massive rally and your passionate commitment to the cause makes all the difference.
Speakers from across the political spectrum set to call for People's Vote today
There is a great line-up of speakers today from all parties, all sides of the political spectrum, young and old, from all parts of the UK.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will deliver a keynote speech, saying yesterday: “I'm proud to stand with hundreds of thousands of people in demanding that they, not wealthy, privileged and out-of-touch hard-right Tory MPs, have the final say on what is an even worse deal than Theresa May's.
“Our policy is clear: Let the people decide.”
Other speaker include Sadiq Khan; Jo Swinson; Michael Heseltine; Anna Soubry; Luciana Berger; Antoinette Sandbach; Chi Onwurah; Claire Hanna; Liz Saville Roberts; Joanna Cherry; Keir Starmer; Caroline Lucas; Ian Blackford; Emily Thornberry; Ed Davey, Layla Moran, Jess Phillips; Sam Gyimah; Dominic Grieve, David Lammy and Hilary Benn, as well as actor Sir Patrick Stewart and TV presenter Sandi Toksvig.
The details and timings of our March for the Final Say
The weather forecast for Central London is good - sunny intervals, temperature around 15 degrees and no rain. Hundreds of thousands of people will assemble on Park Lane. We recommend you use Bond Street, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner Tube stations to join and march for a final say to Westminster, assembling for a noon start. The head of the march is expected to arrive in Parliament Square at 2pm, where there will be a 90-minute rally with a host of great speakers.
More than 170 coaches have been booked by grassroots groups and will be arriving this morning. We also recommend you avoid Green Park Tube which could be extremely busy and may be subject to partial closure, as will Westminster station.
It's clear that Brexit must be put to the people. Now is a crucial time to get involved with the People's Vote campaign. Sign up to volunteer today.
Quote of the Day
"I was there at the very beginning of the People’s Vote campaign when we met in a Camden venue to launch something truly special. This huge, vibrant movement has taken the idea of giving the public the final say on Brexit from the fringe of politics into the heart of public debate. Now we have arrived at a crunch moment in history.
"We are marching one more time to make our demand for the Final Say heard above the chaos of Brexit. We are marching not because we despise or despair of our democracy, but to defend it."
Leading actor and People's Vote campaigner Sir Patrick Stewart, who has helped to fund coaches from Yorkshire for grassroots supporters of today's march, makes a plea for a Final Say.
Video of the Day
Please share on Twitter.
Tweet of the Day
Please share on Twitter.
More Brexit comment...