This weekend many thousands of people that live in Britain and beyond travelled to London to take part in the People’s Vote March. This is the third major march in the capitol since the last referendum that resulted in 51% of citizens voting to leave the EU this March.
The government has not been able to agree on Theresa May’s Brexit deal and has rejected the Prime Minister’s plan twice in parliament. Last nights voting on eight options failed to break the deadlock and MP’s are still divided on the best way forward for the future of the UK and its relationship with the European Union. Currently we are still a member despite the March 29th deadline arriving this week.
The People’s Vote March was a vocal but peaceful demonstration that took place on Saturday the 23rd March starting at 12pm at Park Lane and marching on to Parliament Square in central London.
It was stated that between 400,000 and one million people (1) joined the procession depending on what news source was reporting. Many families with children and young men and women were among the crowds carrying placards who represented every age and part of our multicultural society. Hundreds chose to travel by train and Waterloo station was busy with enthusiastic travellers keen to join the throng of city marchers.
In an effort to move forward eight options were proposed to the members of parliament in the House of Commons and by the end of the evening none of the plans showed clear cross party agreement as the best option to unite the country in a clear direction. A plan to join a new customs union with the EU proved quite popular and the idea of offering the public a chance to vote on the governments Brexit plan has support in Westminster and also across the country.
A new younger generation that were too young to vote in the last referendum would like the chance to have their say on a decision that will have consequences for the economic future of the country and their right to live and work in the EU.
“Margeret Beckett’s proposal for a second referendum on any withdrawal bill got the most support” wrote the BBC News earlier. (3)
At this point it is anyone’s guess what will happen to Great Britain’s membership of the EU in the coming months and years. There is much at stake to ensure the security, health and prosperity of everyone involved.
There is no doubt that some voters will take their right to democracy more seriously in the future given recent events and they will definitely make time to visit their local polling station next time. There is also a real concern that more people will loose faith in the democratic process completely and become apathetic.
As a democratic country this is an important consideration for future of our society. We hope long term this process will work out to be as positive as possible and perhaps even resulting in updating, re-engaging and energising our political process and leadership.
(1) ‘There …weren’t a million people on People’s Vote March’ Fullfact The UK’s Independant Factchecking Charity, Abbas Panjwani 25 March 2019 https://fullfact.org/europe/peoples-vote-march-count/
(2) EU cannot betreay ‘increasing majority’ who want UK to remain, says Tusk, The Guardian, Daniel Boffey 27 March 2019 https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/27/donald-tusk-majority-uk-stay-eu-article-50-brexit
(3) ‘Brexit: No majority for any options after MPs’ votes’ BBC News, Analysis by Laura Kuenssberg 28 March 2019 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47728333