700,000 People Marched in London to Protest Brexit

Protesters want a second chance to vote before the country leaves the EU.

Anti-Brexit campaigners central London after the People's Vote March for the Future.Press Association via AP

The backlash to Brexit has been getting bigger and more organized.

Frustrated with political leaders’ handling of Brexit, British protesters gathered in droves on Saturday in their biggest rally yet. The People’s Vote, a collection of organizations that are against the Brexit decision, estimated that roughly 700,000 people marched in central London. Protesters called for a second referendum on the country’s exit from the European Union, which is scheduled to take place next March. 

In June 2016, Britain voted narrowly to leave the European Union, 52 to 48 percent. But now that the deadline is approaching, the negotiations to hammer out the specifics of the deal have hit a wall, namely over how to handle the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, an EU member. The stalemate has raised concern that there will be no deal when the deadline comes, which some fear would mean economic chaos. 

Since that 2016 vote, public opinion has shifted, with a majority of voters viewing the exit deal in a negative light. The marchers called for a second referendum on Brexit, arguing that public should get another chance to weigh in since the deal under negotiation is far messier and harmful than was first promised in the 2016 vote. Their online petition reads:

We have watched the chaos unfold in Cabinet and the turmoil in negotiations with dismay and foreboding. None of us voted for a bad deal or no deal that would wreck our economy. Nor do we accept that either is inevitable. If the Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament, then we, the people of Britain, should have the democratic right to determine our own future. That is why we are demanding a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

The People’s Vote promises to deliver the petition to parliament once it hits 350,000 signatures. As of Saturday afternoon, it had 30,000 to go.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.