This Brexit Business: marching for the People’s Vote

The march, as seen in a plate glass window.

On Saturday morning, we got up at 4.30 a.m. and didn’t get to bed again till 12.30 on Sunday morning.  In between, we drove to York; forked out £60 for tickets and travelled in a coach to London where we spent the day marching, before reversing the procedure in the early evening.  At our ages – we’re both long past retirement age – you don’t do things like that unless it’s for something really important.

It is. For us, and on behalf of our children and grandchildren, this Brexit Business matters more than almost anything else.

We are members of North Yorkshire for Europe, and joined for the day with York for Europe.  We came to London to march and campaign for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

York and North Yorkshire organise themselves.

Don’t talk to us about the Referendum being the last word on The Will of the People (a barely more than 50% of those who voted changing the course of a nation’s history?).  Don’t tell us what The People voted for – nobody exactly knows.  Don’t tell us that when companies like Airbus and Siemens warn they may have to leave the UK in the event of a no-deal, that they are simply part of an irresponsible Project Fear.  Yes, we are fearful of Brexit: for us, for our families, for those in insecure employment, for those European citizens now resident here who had considered the UK their home.

On arrival in central London, we joined 100, 000 others on a slow two hour march down Pall Mall to Trafalgar Square and Whitehall and into Parliament Square, which completely failed to accommodate us all.

Despite our serious purpose, we had fun.  Look at the banners, the flags, the posters, the facepaint and wigs; the young, the old: marching, hobbling, manoeuvring wheelchairs and buggies – you’ll even spot one fellow being carried by Donald Trump (as if …).  We enjoyed Mexican cheers (the vocal version of a Mexican wave), bouts of chanting (‘What do we want?’ ‘A People’s Vote!’ ‘When do we want it?’ ‘Now!’).  We chatted with marchers from Wales, Devon, Germany, Reading, France, Lambeth, Scotland…..

Then speeches. Rousing, energising speeches from the likes of Caroline Lucas MP, Tony Robinson, Vince Cable MP, David Lammy MP.  Passionate speeches from a hospital consultant, from the young people of OFOC (Our Future, Our Choice).  Video contributions from a WWII veteran and from Chuka Umunna MP.  We cheered them all, and at the end, especially the courageous Tory MP Anna Soubry.

What we want is a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, because apart from a principled few, most MPs are obeying the Whips and toeing the party line, regardless of either their own beliefs, or those of their constituents. If you voted for Brexit, and the government comes up with a good deal for the British people, you have nothing to fear from a People’s Vote.  The government will win the day, and we Remoaners will have to shut up.

If you think that, having learned the terms of the Final Deal, the people should have the Final Say, please sign the petition for The People’s Vote.  It’s here.

PS.  The Daily Express front page on the day of the march…..  there are no words…. don’t they read the news?

  Click on any image to see full size.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

47 thoughts on “This Brexit Business: marching for the People’s Vote”

  1. I’m full of admiration, it was much easier for us. We were back with son and family to pick up the dogs and have a BBQ in the garden by 19.00 – no comfort to you! You are right that the majority in favour of leave was thin but that 52% was only 37% of those eligible to vote.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well done you, one hundred cheers for you and all the others who got down to London for the march – such a shame most of Anna Soubry’s rebel colleagues wimped out on last week’s vote. Seems that the so-called ‘One Nation Conservative Party’ are happy to go to hell in a handcart and drag the rest of us with them. 😡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it so hard to understand. Our own MP, who will never be unseated till hell freezes over, and who voted ‘Remain’, drones on about ‘the will of the people’. He’s also Chief Whip.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good for you, and thank you. We have friends from York who were there, too! It’s hard to see the way forward, even after two years. I’m not sure my husband will ever forgive his father for voting Leave 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if I met your friends? We certainly met a lot of like-minded people, which was wonderful. Yes, it’s hard to forgive anyone you love who voted ‘out’.


  4. BRAVO to you to have taken the challenge of rendering yourself to London’s march. Loved the various panels with slogans. Love it that more and more people realise in ernest that this CANNOT be the last word on Brexit. I’m 1000% with you on every sentence you wrote. Funnily until some months ago we thought we knew nobody who was for Brexit. Then we learned from a dear friend that their sons thought bad of them for having voted for STAY…. I couldn’t fathom why they’d do that. Both sons have more than excellent jobs, are very often abroad, have a really good pay and are for leaving???? Help!!! AND they look down on poor dillusional mum?!
    And also you’re so right with that ‘majority’ who was for leave. We found out that most of the voting population had no clear or even a vague idea what they voted for or against. We seemed to have been FAR BETTER informed abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So few people venture outside their own information bubbles, be they circumscribed by social media or the likes of the ‘Daily Express’. What information do people base their votes on? And if turnouts for elections and referendums are low what says that about the state of democracy? All so complex, but I do hope that mechanisms can be found so that Brexit can be reversed. As you say, more leaders need to step up. Wishing you all strength, hope and some kind of break through soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for this post. It’s good to see the march from the inside through your eyes – determination, humour and even some stubborn hope!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am so proud of you both! I was there too and drove back tired but enthused. It has taken me 2 days to come down to earth!!


  8. I have to admit, I don’t understand the Brexit situation very well–it seems we have so many of our own wacky/terrifying/mind-boggling issues arising every single day. But I totally admire your commitment to your cause and your determination to make your voices heard!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Margaret and Kerry – I too don’t know much about Brexit… the world is very complicated and intertwined today – much more than it was 20-30 years ago… we have moved from countries to regions to global and many folks have not made that leap. It is difficult and challenging for some to put aside themselves and think collectively for the greater good.

      That trip would wear most of us out – but it also gives you the energy to continue on and forward. Stick to your beliefs. I am praying that reason will prevail. Hopeful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always so positive, Clay. Thank you. Tough times here. Whatever happens now, the nation is more polarised than it has been for several centuries. It’s so hard.


  9. Ugh, I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. The issue is too important to skip over your post, yet it’s such a sensitive subject and such an inflammatory one at times. (The issue, not your post.) I’ll type and see what appears. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to hit ‘post’ right? 😕

    I’ve lost friends over Brexit; I’ve never encountered such vitriol and rudeness as in the aftermath of that vote 🙁 Remainers, it seemed – at least, some remainers – not only lost the vote but also lost any notion of respect for others…

    I voted remain but accepted the outcome. I’ve never believed for a moment that EU nationals here will be required to leave the UK nor that Brits living in Europe will be left stranded. I feel that a referendum is just that – and it can’t be held again just because the outcome wasn’t favourable. I try to imagine how things would be now if remain had won; would the Leavers be as vociferous now? On the other hand, I do see that we are talking now about a referendum on a related but different question….

    Admitting to being foolishly naive at times and hopelessly idealistic, I continue to hope for a united world one day, and have always seen a united Europe as a step towards that. But the bureaucrats in Brussels don’t seem too concerned on that issue, and when the leave vote was known, I could see a Britain still committed to being part of Europe, just not the EU. In my mind, they are different things. Like I said, I am often very naive…

    Overall, the situation makes me very sad.

    But….. (giving myself a good shake). Well done both of you for acting on your principals. I greatly admire anyone who does so regardless of what they believe, provided their actions are respectful and I’m quite sure yours are 🙂 It’s been a policy of mine to sit comfortably under the radar on any political issues, so you’ve galvanised me here into sticking my head above the parapet. And that’s not a bad thing. I shall do some further thinking 🤔 🤔


    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful and considered reply. A referendum which produced such an unclear result either way should not have been the basis of making such a deeply profound constitutional change. It should have been the starting point for a long informed discussion, as it’s clear that those who voted for Brexit are not a united camp – how could they be? Different people wanted different things, and the referendum did not seek to dig out any kind of nuanced answer.

    So this campaign for a People’s Vote is one which both remainers and leavers should be able to unite behind. It’s not a re-run of the referendum, but a simple question. Is this Brexit deal one which we want, and which will be good for Britain?

    I’ve been disappointed by the abuse and vitriol which we remainers are at the receiving end of, though I agree this lack of respect can go both ways. I’ve been disappointed in the changing attitude towards Europeans from other countries than our own. I’ve been disappointed in the level of debate, particularly from those committed to leaving, whose only mantra seems to be ‘we want our country back’. I’ve been saddened that so many who want to leave want also to turn their backs on Europe.

    But Europe and the world generally seems to be taking fright at the problems caused by migration and the movement of thousands of dispossessed refugees. It’s hard to see that this will all end well. I fear for my children’s generation, and for their children, because they see themselves as Europeans first and foremost.

    We’ll keep talking, Sandra!


    1. Talk is good! 😊 My daughter too, sees herself as European first and foremost and was deeply disappointed by the referendum. Yet all her surviving grandparents voted leave – because they wish to preserve a future for their grandchildren… What a complicated world it is. Sadly I do share your position that it’s hard to see how this can end well. And you are doing more than many of us, who are simply watching and waiting..

      Enjoy the sunshine, Margaret!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I was there, but we only caught the end when people were leaving – loads of t-shirts with #StopBrexit slogans, EU flags, and stickers everywhere: Bollicks to Brexit! The mood was charged with positive energy. We are proudly European!!!


  12. Having 2 hardworking children living in Spain and married to Europeans I am desperately worried about Brexit.
    When I visit them will I still have reciprocal health cover? Will they need to give up British nationality in order to keep their jobs and pensions? Will we need visas to visit our grandchildren?
    It is such a nonsense and all so confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you and me both. Our daughter lives with her Spanish partner in Spain, and announced the day after the Brexit vote that she would never return to the UK. And who can blame her? I despair every time I read the news now, and don’t think achieving much by my many and varied letters to our MP.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The whole world seems to be in an uproar. The Brexit vote was a warning to us in the USA that yes, Trump could win. And he did. BTW, I think the blow-up giant Trump baby is hysterical!


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