LONDO.- – A million people packed central London on Saturday to call for a second referendum on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, organizers have said.
The «Put it to the People March» kicked off at midday local time in Park Lane, from where participants, many holding anti-Brexit slogans and waving EU flags, will make their way to Parliament Square.
There, a number of prominent anti-Brexit politicians, including the opposition Labour Party’s deputy leader Tom Watson, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, former Conservative Party prime minister Michael Heseltine, were to address the crowds.
«And we are off,» Khan said on Twitter. «Here in London, thousands of people from across our city and country have come together with People’s Vote to send a clear message: Enough is enough – it is time to give the British public the final say on Brexit.»
«An amazing 1 million people are estimated to be marching to today,» the People’s Vote said on Twitter.
The platform had hoped the number of attendees at Saturday’s march would outstrip its previous London demonstration in October, in which an estimated 670,000 people took part.
According to the anti-Brexit platform’s campaign director, Jame McGrory, the People’s Vote organized 200 buses to ferry people to the capital, double the amount chartered for the last outing.
Ahead of the protest, a petition calling for the revocation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the official mechanism that Prime Minister Theresa May triggered to begin a two-year negotiation period with the EU, gained 4 million signatures.
It was the fastest growing petition ever recorded on the UK’s Parliament’s portal.
Brexit had been due to go ahead on Mar. 29, when the negotiation period officially ended.
The march came after the EU agreed to extend the Brexit negotiation period. EU leaders have proposed that the timeframe be pushed back until April, giving May a chance to secure lawmaker’s support for her withdrawal deal.
That deal has twice been shot down in the House of Commons, the lower chamber of UK lawmaking.
If it passes, the EU will allow the UK government until May 23 to implement it but, should it fail, May will have to offer fresh proposals or the UK could face crashing out the bloc without a deal.
The UK electorate narrowly voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum.