"This is what democracy looks like”. Devonians march for a People’s Vote

Posted on 27th June, 2018

Determined Devonians from all over the county set out early on Saturday, the 23rd of June, to join the March for a People's Vote, ending up in Parliament Square in Westminster. Organised by Devon for Europe, five coaches left from Plymouth, Exeter, Honiton and Totnes, and met up with hundreds of other local supporters travelling by other means.



They were marching because they felt they had no other way to show how desperately they care about the UK  and its future prospects.


Lydia Corr, 18, from Shute, was on the Honiton bus with her mother and 14 yr old sister. She said: “I was only 16 when the vote happened so I had no say over a decision which will impact my future for years to come. I managed to persuade my Grandad to vote Remain for my sake and now that I can vote myself, I want a vote on the deal.”


Dr Peter Freedman from Kingsbridge said: “Our Health service, engineering and arts are enriched by European cooperation. Our parents and grandparents fought , and died for the freedom that we enjoy today. It is a fantasy that the UK outside the EU will lead to some economic miracle.”


The Devon contingent of well over 750 then joined the quarter of a million plus marchers (some calculations put the figure closer to 500,000) on their way to Parliament Square, making this the largest pro EU march to date by a very big margin. Aerial footage showed the positive, peaceful protestors filling the whole of Pall Mall, Whitehall and Westminster.



“Every age here today all with the same passion. Save this country from Brexit! Make this government acknowledge us as voters!” said Jenny Stoneman from Torquay.

Mic Morgan of Exeter said: ‘Delighted to be marching for Europe against the folly of Brexit. I believe in community not xenophobia!’


In front of the mother of parliaments, the attentive crowd listened to inspiring speeches from, amongst others, Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Caroline Lucas co-Leader of the Green Party, Anna Soubry, a prominent and passionate ‘rebel’ from the Conservative party and David Lammy, who speaks out against Brexit from within the Labour Party. All spoke powerfully in support of a People’s Vote, drawing roars of approval from the crowd as they championed truth and democracy.  


Actor Tony Robinson’s punchy speech on true patriotism democracy and love for one’s country encapsulated the passion felt by the crowd while Gina Miller’s words summed up the feeling of a majority in this country when she said : "It is simply dishonest for them in that House [pointing to Parliament] to say that they still believe the will of the people is the same as it was two years ago.”


The rally also saw the launch of a new petition demanding a People’s Vote, which attracted over 60,000 signatures in the first few hours of going live, and will be presented to Parliament later in the year.


Devon for Europe Chair, Alex Pilkington  praised the numbers of supporters from Devon who had attended, saying,


“THIS is what democracy looks like and this amazing, positive march will prove to have been key to getting a People's Vote on the Brexit deal. It has become clear that this Government is determined to do everything in its power to subvert parliamentary democracy and to ignore the changing will of the people. We demand the right to scrutinise the deal and to decide whether it is good enough to accept or whether it would, in fact, be better to continue as members of the EU with all the many benefits that confers. We are pleased to see some Members of Parliament prepared to put the country before party and to champion what is best for the UK. Given the chaotic state of the negotiations, the emptiness of of the Brexit promises and the intractable problems of supply chains for our industry, of the Northern Ireland border and, particularly for us in Devon, the situation for our fisherman and farmers, the best solution will, we believe, be to remain in the EU. We live in a democracy, so let’s allow the people to decide with a People’s Vote, based on the deal facts not the false promises and lies.”


Anthea Simmons - 24/06/2018

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Comments (3)

I quite agree
It was very encouraging that so many people made the effort to stand up for something that they believed in
I'm very sorry that health problems prevented me from being on the march, and congratulate everyone who went. Can we be told which papers or other media sources used this press release?

If the number were as you say it's regrettable that the figure of 100,000 used in the national newspapers went unchallenged.

I see from the New European that another march will be held on 20 October in London.
Will Devon be there?
t was not a grim face resolute march battling against dark odds. It was a happy smiling march, a "togetherness" march; people waving to strangers who were friends asking where are you from; knowing why we were there because we shared one great thing together. That we are happy together with our European neighbours, our cousins, just a few miles away and want that to stay. To remain as part of our lives and our children's lives and their children's lives because we are all the richer for it, safer for it, stronger for it. This was a march that sung out in wordless ways all the reasons we know and feel that this "other world" of a dark dreadful divorce will take us into a wilderness of divided chaos and dismay. We demand the hearing of the peoples voice, the right to says, "this is not the way."