Tens of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters have travelled from all over the country to London for the ‘Put it to the People March’ as the online petition urging the government to cancel Brexit passed four million signatures.
Opponents of Britain’s departure from the European Union began gathering in Hyde Park from 12pm before converging on Westminster.
Speakers set to address a rally outside Parliament include Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and opposition Labour deputy leader Tom Watson.
Other speakers will include former Conservative cabinet minister Justine Greening and ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve, former Tory turned independent MP Anna Soubry, Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.
Thousands of people gathered in Hyde Park from 12pm before converging on Westminster to take part in the Put It To The People march
Trains, coaches and buses were chartered to bring as many people as possible, from all around the country to today’s anti-Brexit march in London
EU supporters, calling on the government to give Britons a vote on the final Brexit deal or reverse Brexit entirely, descend on the capital to protest
An anti-Brexit protester carries his child on his back during today’s protest, while she holds up a sign saying ‘May I have my future back please’
‘Brexit is a complete and utter mess,’ Khan said on the eve of the event.
‘I’ll be marching on Saturday with people from every part of our country – from every walk of life – to demand that the British people get the final say.’
Earlier, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage joined the counter March to Leave in Linby, Nottinghamshire, telling around 200 Brexit supporters that Theresa May had reduced the nation ‘to a state of humiliation’.
The ‘People’s vote’ protest – set to be one of the largest in the capital in decades – is hosted by the People’s Vote pressure group.
Saturday’s protest follows a similar demonstration in October that drew an estimated half a million people.
Organisers have arranged hundreds of coaches and even chartered a train to bring protesters from all corners of the country to the capital.
Among those planning to attend is Stephen Goodall, a 96-year-old World War II veteran, who will travel 200 miles by train from southwest England alongside four generations of his family including his great-granddaughter.
Organisers have arranged hundreds of coaches and even chartered a train to bring protesters from all corners of the country to the capital
Independent Group MPs Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry have a selfie taken with Tracey Ullman as they join anti-Brexit campaigners taking part in the People’s Vote March
‘I am an old man and the outcome won’t affect me – but it will affect my family and many people that I know for years to come,’ he said in a statement released by organisers.
The marchers will also include 63-year-old Edmund Sides, who spent the last three weeks walking from Wales to London in order to take part.
Sides, a geologist, said he wanted to be able to speak to people along the way, encouraging families that have been split between Leave and Remain to mend fences and talk.
‘The whole country isn’t doing enough of that,’ he said.
Sides is worried about the vicious tone that arguments have started to take and worries about national cohesion. Walking gave him a chance to talk to people along the way, and see what others were thinking.
‘People fear the atmosphere is very dangerous in this country,’ he said.
Campaigners arrived in the capital from across the country, with one taking on a 715-mile journey on ferries, trains and buses from Orkney in Scotland.
Student Sorcha Kirker, 27, will be joined by about 30 other students from the University of the Highlands and Islands.
The ‘People’s vote’ protest – set to be one of the largest in the capital in decades – is hosted by the People’s Vote pressure group
Saturday’s protest follows a similar demonstration in October that drew an estimated half a million people, as an online petition urging the government to cancel Brexit passes four million
The protest comes after EU leaders this week granted a delay to Brexit, prompting Theresa May to make another attempt to get her Brexit deal through
A demonstrator leads a dog wearing a suit in the EU colors during the Peoples Vote and anti-Brexit march that started at noon today
The protest comes after EU leaders this week granted a delay to Brexit, prompting Prime Minister Theresa May to make a renewed bid to win MPs’ backing for her divorce deal.
However she faces daunting odds with lawmakers deadlocked for months over how to implement the 2016 referendum vote to leave, reflecting bitter divisions nationwide.
If she succeeds, Britain – which was staring at a cliff-edge deadline of March 29 for leaving the EU – will depart on May 22 under the terms of the withdrawal agreement the prime minister struck with Brussels last year.
But if lawmakers defeat the accord again, as expected, London must outline a new plan or face a no-deal Brexit as early as April 12 – unless it decides to request another extension and hold European Parliament elections in May.
Young girls join the protest against Brexit in London today, holding signs in favour of the EU and lending their voices to calls for another referendum
An anti-Brexit and pro-socialist banner is unfurled and hung from Westminster Bridge before today’s march in London started
People young and old turned out for the anti-Brexit march and rally, including this family who are all wearing T-shirts supporting the EU
Any further delay would likely prompt further calls for another referendum as the only way out of the impasse.
The prime minister has repeatedly ruled out holding another poll on the issue, claiming it would be divisive and renege on promises to honour the 2016 referendum result.
Meanwhile the main opposition Labour Party appears divided on the issue.
At its 2018 conference, it backed holding another poll as a last resort, while advocating staying in a customs union with the EU together with close alignment with its single market.
But some MPs are fierce advocates of putting it back to the people, while others representing Leave-supporting areas in central and northern England, are bitterly opposed.
In a sign of the splits, at least half a dozen Labour shadow ministers are set to join deputy leader Tom Watson at Saturday’s march, while the party itself asked activists instead to help campaign for local elections due on May 2.
Watson said he had now decided to campaign for a referendum ‘reluctantly’ and would back May’s deal if it was also put to the people.
‘It can only begin to bring the country back together again if we all have a final say – and then live with the result,’ he said.
‘I trust the people I represent. And only they can sort this mess out.’