A prominent protester has taken swipes at Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Boris Johnson.
(Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)
More than 800 people from Gloucestershire will be marching in London on Saturday to call for a second referendum on Brexit.
The date falls in line with the so-called ‘Super Saturday’, which will see MPs sitting in Parliament to discuss Britain’s departure from the European Union.
People’s Vote, a national pro-EU organization, has organized for 18 coaches to leave from different locations across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.
Philip Cole, Chair of Cheltenham for Europe, said their aim was to have a vote on the issue rather than an immediate revocation of Article 50 as “Quite a lot of leavers might see that as some sort of coup d’etat” – meaning an overthrow of the 2016 referendum result.
(Image: Anna Lythgoe)
Liberal Democrat policy to revoke Article 50 without vote merely a ‘bargaining tool’
Mr. Cole’s, 71, stance comes in contrast to the Pro-EU Liberal Democrat policy to revoke article 50 without a vote, introduced by leader Jo Swinson at their conference.
The retiree, who used to be head of English translation at the European Parliament, has dismissed Mrs. Swinson’s position as merely a “bargaining tactic.”
Mr. Cole said: “I think that [Liberal Democrat’s position to revoke article 50] would certainly respond to feelings of a lot of people who want to just get it all over.
“Quite a lot of leavers might see that as some sort of coup d’etat. The gut feeling is that Jo Swinson is only saying that as a sort of initial bargaining position for the other opposition parties.”
Mr. Cole (left) said: “We want the nightmare to be over”
The Gloucestershire protesters will be joined by 170 coaches from as far north as Inverness in north Scotland (554 miles) and as far south as Truro in Cornwall (283 miles).
Dozens of coaches are coming from areas that voted to leave in 2016, including: Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Tewkesbury, Lincolnshire, Derby, Darlington and the Welsh Valleys.
However, recent polls have shown a surge in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s popularity with a series of the latest YouGov result putting the Conservative party on top.
The latest You Gov Westminister voting intention poll, October 11, put the Conservatives at 35%, Labour at 22%, Liberal Democrats at 20%, Brexit Party at 12%, Green Party at 6%, and Other at 6%.
Mr. Cole believes that this spike in popularity is due to how similar the remain parties are and the likability factor that Boris Johnson brings.
He said: “It’s not so much that they [the Conservatives] are particularly popular. It’s just that all the remain parties, you see there’s not a huge difference between the two. I think Johnson has had a lucky parliamentary conference, there’s also this lingering feeling, between people that should know better, that he’s a bit of a lad.
“Yet, if they stopped to think about the damage he’s inflicted upon the country’s reputation.”
(Image: Anna Lythgoe)
Chairmen of the other pro-EU Gloucestershire groups also vented their frustration at the process.
Andrew Niblett, Chair of Stroud in Europe, said: “The belligerent and aggressive voices emanating from Number 10 have driven Stroud Remainers to demand their say.”
Ian Williams, Chair of Gloucester for Europe, said We reject Brexit, but we want to end the division it has caused with a fair final say for all.”
John Taylerson, Chair of Forest of Dean for Europe, said: “Opposition to Brexit doesn’t just come from London and urban areas, it also comes from the rural constituencies.
“The many of us traveling to the march from the Forest of Dean are a testimony to that”.