On 20 October 2018, an estimated 700,000 people marched for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. In a stroke of luck for the campaign, protestors were greeted with a clear sky and temperatures of up to 20 degrees as they descended on Westminster. Led by Sadiq Khan and thousands of young people mobilised by youth groups Our Future, Our Choice and For our Future’s Sake, the day felt like a real turning point for many in attendance, and it was not without impact.
Many broadcasters, journalists and even some MPs expressed surprise at the scale of the demonstration. Since that day, the People’s Vote campaign and its branch-offs have become major players on the political scene. What was previously derided as a London-centric club of Blairite ‘remoaners’ could not be ignored any longer.
But ultimately, it wasn’t enough on its own. Despite the massively increased publicity and willingness of many both in the media and in Westminster to take the campaign seriously; five months later there remains no majority in Parliament for anything. Many sympathetic MPs targeted by People’s Vote campaign in recent weeks remain reluctant to tie their colours to the mast.
By Nathaniel Shaughnessy