100,000 march for vote on EU deal
Thousands marched through central London on Saturday, local time, the second anniversary of the EU referendum, to demand a final vote on any Brexit deal.
Organisers of the People’s Vote march estimated that more than 100,000 protesters joined the demonstration through Westminster.
The protest is part of a ‘‘summer of action’’ by campaign groups designed to increase pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, Sir Tony Robinson, the actor and a former member of Labour’s national executive, and the proeu campaigner Gina Miller were among those to address the crowds in Parliament Square.
Cable said Brexit was ‘‘not a done deal’’ and could be reversed. Lucas told the crowd that Brexit ‘‘will be a disaster for this country’’.
Anna Soubry, the Conservative MP who has repeatedly rebelled over Brexit, also attended as it emerged her constituency chairman had written to local party members to canvass if they were ‘‘happy’’ with her as their MP in a move which could lead to her being deselected.
Hundreds attended a counterprotest. Stephen Goodall, 96, a World War II veteran, led the proeu protesters.
The demonstrations highlight continuing splits over Brexit. Leave-supporting cabinet ministers, including Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox, led a co-ordinated strike yesterday intended to put pressure on the prime minister not to betray their vision of Brexit. Fox, the international trade secretary, said the prime minister was ready to walk away without an agreement as part of her commitment to deliver a ‘‘people’s Brexit’’. The government was committed to its policy of ‘‘no deal is better than a bad deal’’.
Johnson said the public wanted the ‘‘government to fulfil the mandate of the people and deliver a full British Brexit’’. Their warning came as ministers battled for control of the Brexit process before a key meeting at Chequers next month. – The Times