Brexit: what is the point of the people's vote march?
As hundreds of thousands take to the streets of London for the 'Put it to the People' march, the FT's political commentator Sebastian Payne asks whether they can actually achieve their demand for a second referendum
Filmed and edited by Joe Sinclair
Welcome to Westminster and the heart of British politics. We're on the march to put Brexit back to the British people in a second referendum. Hundreds of thousands of people have turned up.
But what are the folks on this march actually trying to achieve? Because with just a few weeks to go until the UK is set to leave the EU, there's still not enough support in that place over there, the House of Commons, for MPs to change their mind. So let's go and find out what these people are hoping to achieve.
Excuse me, ladies, sorry to bother you. I'm a journalist from the Financial Times. I just wanted to ask why you've come on the vote today and what you're hoping to achieve?
Because I want peace, friendship, and co-operation.
We all want those things. What's that got to do the people's vote?
Because we get it by belonging to the EU.
And how do you think we're actually going to get that referendum, as we're due to leave in a couple of weeks anyway?
Well, we'll get it by people force. And that's why we're out here today.
So you think you can change the minds of MPs?
We hope so.
They've not listened so far.
No, but they are beginning to consider other options.
I want it for the future of my grandchildren.
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Revoke Article 50!
Actually, I'd rather like them to revoke Article 50.
Do you think that's going to happen though?
I'm quietly confident. Quietly confident and optimistic.
Even though MPs...
Because if not, it's too depressing to contemplate.
To stop Brexit.
Yeah, simple as that. We don't want Brexit to happen. The whole of the vote was based on lies. Now we know what... we've got better picture. I mean, where do you start, the government's doing a dreadful, dreadful job. Jeremy Corbyn is shit. The people need to have their voices heard. It's as simple as that.
Do you think people knew what they were voting for in 2016?
No, they didn't. No, they didn't. It was too binary, it was too binary. We didn't know...
But another vote would be binary as well.
Yes, but we know what we're voting for this time. We vote on Theresa May's dreadful idea, or we vote to remain, or we vote for another one.
Keep the Front out!
The last referendum three years ago is not representative of the views today.
Because it's been a long time. Voters have changed, opinions have changed as the facts have come available. And I think that we need another chance to say what we feel.
What do we want?
When do we want it!
Hey, hey, hey, Theresa May, we demand a final say!
The march has stopped in front of Downing Street right here. And as you can see, the protesters are trying to send a message to the prime minister.
We're really angry at the mess Mrs May's making of this as well. And this is about the last straw.
It was always going to be difficult, though. You can't necessarily blame her for it all. Do you not think?
No, no, not entirely her. Her party and the government as well.
But they've made a pretty terrible batch of it.
But how are you actually going to get that referendum, because we're due to leave in a few weeks.
Well, hopefully, in parliament in the few days ahead. I mean, we can't go on as we are. It's ridiculous.
I think it's the last avenue left to us to show that everything is broken, and that our parliament is broken, and that we just really need a better way.
How confident are you of getting that second vote, because we're due to leave in a couple of weeks?
Don't know, but we're here. That's all we can do.
How are you hoping to persuade the folks over there, who don't seem very willing for a second referendum?
It's a difficult thing. All we can do is apply public pressure and show that it is not a one-way street. And that people do care about this and people very strongly want to remain. Bollocks to Brexit!
One of the ironies of Brexit is the UK's never really had a strong Europhile moment. And it has emerged just at the point where we're about to leave the EU. It's clear from the folks that I've spoken to on the people's vote march that they don't quite have a plan to make sure we do have a second referendum. But they want to have their voices heard. The big question for British politics, now, is all this the beginning of something or the end of it?