Massive rally seeks people’s vote on Brexit

Over a million people marched on March 23 in London, with many of them demanding a second referendum. Other sections of the left pointed out that the government must respect the mandate of the 2016 referendum and regain the sovereignty of the country

March 26, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
The UK continues to remain divided over Brexit even as prime minister Theresa May's proposals have not taken off. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

An estimated one million people marched in London on March 23, demanding a ‘People’s Vote’ on the British parliament’s final decision on the Brexit deal. The marchers, many of whom waved the EU flag and chanted pro-EU slogans, demanded that the government go for a second referendum. They condemned British prime minister Theresa May’s inability to reach a fair deal with the EU, even after two years since the first Brexit vote.

Peoples Vote UK said that the protesters had one simple and democratic demand – the public should have a say in the final outcome of the Brexit crisis. People from every corner of the country and every walk of life came together to declare with one voice that they will not let a broken Brexit deal be forced on them.

In the June 23, 2016 referendum, the United Kingdom voted by a 52%- 48% margin to leave the EU. To this day, the people as well as politicians are divided over Brexit. Two of May’s proposals have already been voted down in parliament, and the country is on the brink of a disastrous exit from the EU without any formal agreements on trade, tariffs, immigration, etc. The call for a second Brexit vote is gaining prominence even among the mainstream opposition parties, including the Labor Party.

But the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) called on the government to respect the mandate of the first referendum, and regain the sovereignty of Britain from the EU, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other hegemonic blocs, as well as to empower local governance and strengthen people’s power. They also called for an immediate general election in the country.

“The political crisis around Brexit shows how the Tory government and many MPs are out of touch and fundamentally hostile to popular sovereignty. A General Election will provide the opportunity to elect a government that represents the interests and aspirations of working people and their families, including negotiations on future relations with the EU,” the CPB said.

Earlier, Robert Griffiths, general secretary of the CPB, had told Peoples Dispatch that “the workers and people of Britain should have a ‘People’s Brexit’ which serves their interests, not those of monopoly capital”.