If you care about the country, you'll march with me for a Final Say

Today there is no more talk of an extra £350m for the NHS, of new trade deals and regained sovereignty, only increasingly dubious reassurances that somehow, everything will be alright

Michael Heseltine
Friday 18 October 2019 09:22
Thousands join anti-Brexit march in Westminster

On Saturday at noon, I will join hundreds of thousands of people for one of the biggest and most important protests our country has ever seen. If you care about our country, its future and its place in the world, I urge you to join us.

In under a fortnight Boris Johnson wants to succeed in forcing a Brexit upon our nation that is a million miles away from what he once promised.

Since 2016 the prospectus of the Leavers has changed beyond all recognition. Today, there is no more talk of an extra £350m for the NHS, of new trade deals and regained sovereignty, only increasingly dubious reassurances that somehow, everything will be alright.

We will have staggered out of the most successful international partnership in history and into an uncertain future, with nothing more than warm words from Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg to convince us that we are not making a terrible mistake.

The future prospects of our economy, our place in the world and the unity of the United Kingdom are jeopardised by an ideological and political vanity project.

But the problem Johnson has is that the real world has caught up with the false promises and easy slogans of three years ago. His cavalier, make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is no longer convincing anyone.

One of the biggest lies of this whole mess is the idea that we can “get Brexit done” and move on quickly. The big question we face is how we want to spend the next decade. By endlessly talking about Brexit or by confronting all of the other challenges we face as a country from the NHS to climate change?

That’s why I shall join the march and speak on Saturday to demand that the voice of the people is heard in a Final Say referendum on Brexit.

We are marching, not because we despise or despair of our democracy, but to defend it.

We are marching because we trust the people, not Boris Johnson, to solve the Brexit crisis.

On Saturday, the prime minister also has plans. He will be inside the gates of parliament for an emergency debate on his Brexit deal.

But should he care to listen, he will hear the voices from Parliament Square: young and old, rich and poor, left and right coming together because they know this matter cannot, must not, simply be left just to politicians like him.

Already in the Commons more and more MPs from every party support us.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

But time is short. And, on Saturday, our voice must be heard as loudly and clearly as possible.

If you have marched before, or never marched and if you care about our country, join us.

Together, we can change the course of history.

Michael Heseltine is president of the European Movement and a former defence secretary

At midday this Saturday, the Brexit march will be from Park Lane to Parliament. Join us to demand a Final Say

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments