On Saturday, more than a million people took to the streets of London to demand a second Brexit referendum — what they’re calling a “people’s vote.”
In June 2016, the United Kingdom voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the European Union. That incredibly close vote kicked off nearly two years of political and economic chaos in Britain that continue to this day, as the country tries to figure out how to break away from the EU without tanking its entire economy.
British Prime Minister Theresa May spent months negotiating a detailed Brexit deal with the EU, only to see it rejected not once, but twice by the UK Parliament. As Vox’s Jen Kirby explains, the country is “bitterly divided,” but “there’s one thing almost everyone in Britain agrees on: Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal is really bad.”
The inability to get a deal passed has brought the country to the brink of disaster: the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. In that scenario, the UK crashes out of the EU with no rules in place for how everything from trade to airline travel to immigration between the UK and EU countries will work. It would be an unprecedented economic catastrophe — and Brits are not amused by their leaders’ failure to come up with a solution to avert it.
That’s why hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom support staying in the EU, are now calling for a second Brexit referendum. People’s Vote UK, the grassroots group leading the charge, told Vox’s Kirby back in December that it wants to give UK voters a chance to choose between May’s deal or remaining in the EU.
The idea has been building for a while now, and only recently gained support from the opposition Labour Party. So the People’s Vote UK decided to call on British citizens to take to the streets for a mass demonstration Saturday to show the country’s leaders just how much support there really is for a second referendum.
And the people answered. Here are some of the most eye-opening — and cheeky — photos from Saturday’s people’s vote march in London.