'High noon' for Brexit as campaigners plan for protest on March 23

PUBLISHED: 23:38 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 23:48 16 February 2019

Pro-EU campaigners outside the House of Commons in Westminster. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Pro-EU campaigners outside the House of Commons in Westminster. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Plans for a massive demonstration in London on Saturday March 23, just six days before the United Kingdom is meant to leave to the European Union, have been unveiled by the People's Vote campaign.

The “Put It To The People March” will demand that the public are given the final say on any Brexit deal amid clear signs the government will go down to the wire in its desperate efforts to secure a parliamentary majority.

The event, beginning at 12pm – “High Noon” - on Park Lane on March 23 will see hundreds of thousands of people march to Parliament Square for a mass rally and keynote speeches.

It follow growing calls from anti-Brexit campaigners to come together ahead of the day the UK is due to leave the EU on March 29.

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Brexit is already causing deep damage to Britain and this Spring weekend – just six days before we’re due to leave the European Union – may very well be our last chance to demand the public have a say on the way forward before it’s too late.

“Instead of letting Theresa May kick the can down the road until the March 29 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.

“This is High Noon for Brexit. This march is for all those who are concerned about the way politics is descending into chaos, and for those who feel let down by broken Brexit promises. Whether you’re worried about the damage caused by this deal or no deal, or you just want clarity and closure about our country’s direction – rather than years more of argument and division - join us. By working together we can fix this mess.”

Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Twickenham, said: “The government’s handling of Brexit has become a national humiliation. They, along with the Labour leadership, want to kick the can down the road but people across the country will not stand idly by whilst they try to duck the biggest political decision in a generation. Crunch time is coming.

“I know that hundreds of thousands of people from right across the United Kingdom will take to the streets and join us in demanding that their voices are heard - that the only way forward out of this Brexit mess is through a People’s Vote.”

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Anna Soubry, the Conservative MP for Broxtowe and former business minister, said: “There is now a real danger that this is going to go right down to the wire. The prime minister appears intent on holding the long-awaited meaningful vote as late as possible, in the hope of pressuring MPs into backing what they know is a bad deal. And Jeremy Corbyn appears happy to let the clock run down, rather than tabling Labour’s proposals or backing a People’s Vote.

“But come the final week of March there will be nowhere for any MP to hide, which is why this march could be of historic significance. Parliament will need a way out, and the demand will be loud and clear: put short term party politics aside, put Britain’s national interest first. Put it to the people.”

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said: “Whatever parliament decides over the coming weeks, and whatever amendments have already been passed, it is in those final days that we have the biggest chance to convince MPs to give this decision back to the public. The ‘Put It To The People March’ will make the case for more democracy impossible to ignore. We will demand that any Brexit deal be put to the people for approval.

“We will reject the choice between No Deal and May’s Deal that the Prime Minister is offering to MPs because it is a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. We will not accept the choice between several forms of Brexit, all of which the government’s own assessments say will make us significantly poorer. We will not buy the lie that democracy was frozen on the 23rd of June 2016.”

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader and MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said: “It is nothing short of disgraceful that the Prime Minister is planning to try and bounce MPs into backing her deal – a deal that has already been roundly rejected – at the eleventh-hour. People have had enough of this kind of behaviour. What better way to tell the Prime Minister that enough is enough than by marching on Parliament when it matters most. On March 23rd, it really will be a case of now or never.”

Ian Blackford, SNP Parliamentary Leader at Westminster and MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said: “I am proud to promise that SNP MPs will support a People’s Vote which includes the option to remain in the EU. The Prime Minister is going to go to the final week telling MPs we have to a bad or blindfold deal or accept ‘no deal’. It is a scandal and we will not accept it. Scotland voted to Remain and we will do everything we can to make sure that all the people of the four nations in the UK have the chance to have the final say on Brexit. I’ll be in the march, joining together with people from north and south of the border, in an act of national solidarity against this clear and present danger to all our futures.”

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