Oxford for Europe

March for a People's Vote on Brexit
London , 23 June 2018

Oxford for Europe is campaigning to stop Brexit and fully supports the recently launched national campaign for a People's Vote, with an option to remain in the EU. A growing number of people have doubts about Brexit and want a say on our future. We now know that what is being offered is not what many people thought they were voting for. We agree with our national organisation, Britain for Europe, that a people's vote on the negotiated terms of Brexit is the right democratic way for the people to decide whether this deal is what they want, and if not to say no and build a better future as members of the EU.

On Saturday 23rd June Oxford for Europe joined an estimated 500,000 protesters from across the country, as well as further afield, in London to join People’s Vote march against Brexit. Organized by a broad coalition of pro-EU organisations, this was the largest-ever public pro-EU demonstration to date. Calling for a People's Vote on the terms of Brexit, it attracted the attention of both national and international news channels. The event was the lead on the BBC news and trending on Twitter - even beating the World Cup!

We organised coach transport to the march in the run-up to the event. Our three full coach loads of activists met with hundreds of campaigners from Oxford and Oxfordshire who share our concerns in Hyde Park before setting off together towards Pall Mall. The sheer number of people at the march meant we were slow moving off but we soaked in the atmosphere by admiring the multiple clever placards and joining in the various sporadic thunderclaps and chants. One of our group, Ian Miles, had even written a song especially for the day.

Starting at midday, the march took us down Pall Mall past Trafalgar Square down Whitehall and ended up in Parliament Square, where a number of guest speakers addressed the crowd. Speakers included Gina Miller, Vince Cable MP, Caroline Lucas, David Lammy MP and Anna Soubry (for a full list and videos, see below).

Locally, the People’s Vote campaign also received a strong endorsement ahead of the march. Labour peer Andrew Adonis and Will Hutton, Principal of Hertford College, speaking in Hertford College at the launch of their new book on Brexit, Saving Britain: How We Must Change to Prosper in Europe. They commented: “We are firmly resolved to change Britain and stop Brexit. No one individual can change this country's course, but together we can and we will”.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran [Oxford West and Abingdon], who was a keynote speaker at the recent People's Vote campaign launch event, said:  “Liberal Democrats totally support the demand for a People's Vote, and our party tabled an amendment […] to the EU Withdrawal Bill to ensure we get a People's Vote on the terms of Brexit.”

Oxford City Labour Councillor John Tanner, who travelled with his wife Sue Tanner on one of our coaches, stated: “We can still stop this Brexit nonsense if we try hard enough”.

Oxford for Europe said: “However people voted in 2016, they should all have the right to look at the actual terms of the Brexit deal and judge for themselves if it delivers what they were promised. If the answer is no, we should have the right to ditch Brexit and opt to stay in the EU. This massive march has shown how public opinion is decisively tipping against Brexit as the disastrous truth about the Brexit deal emerges, and major Oxford employers like BMW and Unipart are being forced to issue dire warnings about the impact on local jobs and prosperity. We call on Anneliese Dodds MP to urgently pass on to Jeremy Corbyn this message from Oxford voters and Labour supporters: we demand our say on this deal!”

On the way home we collected £500 of donations on the coaches. Thank you for your generosity! We will put the money to good use organising events over the coming months as we continue to battle against Brexit.

The People's Vote Campaign has launched its online petition. It is asking for the public vote that we need to put an end to Brexit and keep the UK as a full member of the EU where it belongs. The idea is to get as many signatures as possible on the petition to show the scale of public support for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. When the organisers of the campaign know that the deal is coming before parliament later in the year, the petition will be delivered to 10 Downing Street. 

Whether you went on the march on Saturday or not please sign this petition to ensure it continues to shift the terms of political debate towards a better outcome. Share it as widely as possible with family, friends and work colleagues - whatever seems appropriate. Sign it here.
Oxford for Europe