By Andrew MacAskill and Amanda Ferguson
LONDON/BELFAST (Reuters) – Hundreds of 1000’s of supporters of the European Union marched by way of London on Saturday within the greatest demonstration to date to demand that the British government holds a public vote on the phrases of Brexit.
The protesters waved the blue and gold flag of the EU and held up “Bollocks to Brexit” banners underneath sunny skies to name for an additional referendum on the eventual deal on how Britain will depart the world’s greatest buying and selling bloc.
The march comes after one other tumultuous week for Prime Minister Theresa May during which she did not agree a divorce cope with EU leaders in Brussels and infuriated members of her personal social gathering by making additional concessions within the talks.
With simply over 5 months till Britain is because of depart there is no such thing as a readability about what a future commerce cope with the EU will appear like and a few rebels in May’s Conservative Party have threatened to vote down a deal if she clinches one.
James McGrory, one of many organisers of the march, mentioned voters ought to have the possibility to alter their minds as a result of the choice will impression their lives for generations.
“People think the Brexit negotiations are a total mess, they have no faith in the government to deliver the promises that were made, partly because they cannot be delivered,” he mentioned.
At the march, demonstrators carried placards saying “Brexit is pants”, “Time for an EU turn” and “European and proud.”
Organisers mentioned about 700,000 individuals took half within the march, which might make it the most important in Britain since a demonstration towards the Iraq battle in 2003.
The “People’s Vote” marketing campaign, which incorporates a number of pro-EU teams, mentioned they’d stewards stationed at common intervals to estimate the dimensions of the gang. The police didn’t present an impartial estimate of numbers collaborating.
Protesters initially gathered close to Hyde Park after which walked previous Downing Street and completed exterior parliament the place they listened to politicians from all predominant political events.
Britain’s 2016 referendum noticed 52 % vote in favour of leaving the European Union. But the previous two years have been politically fraught because the government has struggled to agree on a plan and there are fears that Britain may depart the bloc with no deal.
Some opinion polls have proven a slight shift in favour of remaining within the European Union, however there has but to be a decisive change in attitudes and lots of in Britain say they have grow to be more and more bored by Brexit.
The prime minister has repeatedly dominated out holding a second referendum. The opposition Labour social gathering’s Brexit spokesman mentioned final month his social gathering open to a second referendum with the choice of staying within the bloc in sure circumstances.
In Belfast in Northern Ireland, round 2,000 individuals gathered on Saturday to oppose Brexit.
Brendan Heading, a 39-year-old IT employee, mentioned he was apprehensive the choice to go away the EU would harm the financial system and may result in the break up of the United Kingdom.
“I feel that Brexit threatens prosperity and stability,” he mentioned. “People should have the opportunity to vote for an alternative based on what we now know.”
Brexit supporters held their very own rally within the city of Harrogate within the north of England.
Richard Tice, Vice-Chairman of Leave Means Leave and one of many audio system on the event, described the individuals on the march in London as “losers” and mentioned a second referendum would set off a constitutional disaster.
“We had a vote, we voted to leave, the idea to have a second referendum would be incredibly damaging,” he mentioned.
“People need to be under no illusions as to how people feel about what is a significant potential for a total betrayal of democracy in this country.”
Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Ros Russell, Richard Balmforth