Put it to the People march: What is the Brexit rally and when will it take place?

Campaigners to renew demand for a public vote on the final Brexit deal

Peter Stubley
Saturday 23 March 2019 10:01
More than 700,000 protesters march on Westminster calling for a Final Say on Brexit deal

The Put it to the People march will take place in London today – just six days before the UK is meant to leave the European Union.

Taking part could be the last opportunity to demand a Final Say on Brexit. A similar rally in October attracted almost 700,000 people and hundreds of thousands are again expected to take to the streets.

Why another march?

Since the last march, Theresa May’s deal with the EU has been rejected by MPs in two “meaningful votes”.

With parliament divided, and a no-deal Brexit still the default legal position if nothing else is agreed, a recent survey for The Independent found that a second referendum was the most popular option, ahead of remaining in the EU, renegotiating with the EU or leaving without a deal.

The organisers of the rally, the People’s Vote campaign, say the debate needs to be taken out of parliament and into the streets.

Why on 23 March?

The timetable for Brexit remains uncertain, but we do know that there is so far no way forward that has attracted enough support in a divided parliament to move ahead.

Ms May could ask for an extension at the European Council meeting on 21 and 22 March, but it is totally unclear at this point what that extension would be for.

Labour MP David Lammy said: “It is in those final days that we have the biggest chance to convince MPs to give this decision back to the public.”

What will the march be demanding?

The key demand is that any Brexit deal should be put to a public vote for final approval.

“Instead of letting Theresa May kick the can down the road until the 29 March deadline, hundreds of thousands of people will march on parliament offering a solution to a crisis that threatens our rights, our living standards and our environment,” said former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas.

One proposal for securing a second referendum involves tabling an amendment in the last week before 29 March.

MPs would then approve any deal only if it was subject to a public vote.

Where will the march take place?

The march is set to begin at 12pm, or “high noon”, on Saturday 23 March, on London’s Park Lane.

An hour later, marchers will begin heading down the east side of Hyde Park to Green Park, before making their way around the top of St James’s Park to Parliament Square.

The march will end with a mass rally and keynote speeches.

Who will be joining the march?

Several leading politicians including Caroline Lucas, David Lammy, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, Independent Group MP Anna Soubry, Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon and the leaders of the SNP and Plaid Cymru in Westminster, Ian Blackford and Liz Saville Roberts, have already confirmed their support. The Independent is supporting the march and encouraging readers to attend.

Speaking on the morning of the march, mayor of London Sadiq Khan posted a message of support for everyone taking part to send the message "enough is enough".

The organisers are hoping to widen their appeal beyond those who have previously supported the People’s Vote and Final Say campaigns. The Independent’s petition calling on the prime minister to give the people a Final Say on Brexit has attracted well over 1.1 million signatures.

Another petition calling on the government to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit has now hit over four million signatures.

“The only way forward out of this Brexit mess is through a People’s Vote,” said Sir Vince.

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For more details about the Put It To The People march – and to sign up – please visit peoples-vote.uk/march

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