Tens of thousands gather in London to demand a new Brexit vote

Warren Buffett is asking a different Brexit question.
Warren Buffett is asking a different Brexit question.
Image: Reuters/Henry Nicholls
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At noon today in London, as many as 100,000 people are expected to gather to demand a new Brexit referendum. The organizers are the People’s Vote campaign and their demand is for the government to allow UK voters to have a say on the final Brexit deal. It’s a follow up to a similar protest held in June.

The British prime minister Theresa May has ruled out such a referendum. But the vote has gathered support from members of parliament (MPs) representing all the main political parties.

“This week’s fresh chaos and confusion over Brexit negotiations has exposed how even the best deal now available will be a bad one for Britain,” Andrew Adonis, a member of the House of Lords, told the BBC. “It’s a mess that nobody voted for.”

May came back from a fresh round of negotiations with the European Union (EU) this week with not very much to show. The government’s goal is to secure an orderly exit from the EU that would allow the UK to maintain a working relationship with its largest trading partner.

As Quartz recently explained:

Much of the current disagreement involves the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which is not. There are no customs or immigration checks at the border between the two nations since both are members of the EU’s free-trade area known as the “customs union.” All parties want to avoid installing border controls and checkpoints. Few can agree how to do that once the UK leaves the EU.

If May fails to secure a deal, the government’s own advisory says that the outcome in the short term will be chaotic: It could affect supplies of food and medicine, ground planes, delay shipments, and stop trucks from crossing borders. It’s anybody’s guess what happens in the long term.

That’s an outcome the People’s Vote campaign wants to avoid. There’s even a chance that such a vote could stop Brexit altogether. The European Court of Justice is due to hear a case that would allow the UK government to unilaterally withdraw the notification it sent on March 29, 2017 that officially began Brexit proceedings.