Brexit: Campaigners call for final vote on EU exit deal at Edinburgh rally

Brexit: Campaigners call for final vote on EU exit deal at Edinburgh rally

Hundreds of people joined a rally in Edinburgh’s Festival Square to demand a final referendum on the Brexit deal.

Impressionist Rory Bremner and former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell were among those supporting The People’s Vote campaign.

Campaigners waved flags and held banners with slogans like ”Whose deal is it? Let the people choose”, and “We demand a people’s vote on the Brexit deal”.

One of the speakers, former BBC journalist Gavin Esler, told the crowd: “Like most people in this country, whatever we thought of the vote, I accepted it at first – that’s how democracy works.

“But I’ve changed my mind completely over the last two years of lies and incompetence.”

The rally came as the People’s Vote campaign joined forced with The Independent’s Final Say campaign for a mass march through central London on 20 October.

More than 660,000 people have signed The Independent‘s petition so far.

Earlier this week a poll found that 48 per cent of the public would now back a vote on any deal struck between the UK and the EU – up from 44 per cent just four weeks ago.

Just 24 per cent opposed the idea, down three points over the same period. Only 14 per cent of the 1,500 people surveyed supported Ms May’s chequers deal given a choice.

An estimated 1,000 people turned out for the rally in Festival Square (PA)

Among those supporting the People’s Vote campaign in Edinburgh was Mary Ross-Davie, director of the Royal College of Midwives in Scotland.

“We’re already 3,500 midwives short across the UK and if we lose our hard-working, fantastic midwife colleagues from the EU, it will be a disaster,” she said.

Ms Ross-Davie argued that the decision on the final Brexit deal must not rest with a few hundred politicians in Westminster.

“It has to be a decision taken by the tens of millions of us, right across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whose lives will be changed forever by it,” she said.

“It is far too big a decision to be left to the politicians alone. We, the people, must decide in a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal.”

Vanessa Glynn, chair of the European Movement in Scotland, told the crowd: “There is no good Brexit. There is rightly wide-spread pessimism about the impact of Brexit on Scottish jobs, businesses, farmers and public services.

A mass march through central London is planned for 20 October (PA)

“Scots believe that Brexit will make our nation’s economy weaker, Scotland’s NHS worse and our own families significantly poorer … Let’s stop talking about Brexit and start talking about what we want for our future.”

Mr Esler added: “The Brexit bunch are the most incompetent bunch of politicians in my lifetime and Brexit is in deep trouble, not because of those of us who thought it was a bad idea, but because those who told us it was a good idea are so incompetent, they don’t know what it is.

“We can argue against lies and cheating, we can argue for real democracy, we can argue for a truly fair and free and informed vote.

“We can continue to expose the hypocrisy of the Brexit bunch, we can argue for a people’s vote.”

Organisers said around 1,000 people attended the event on Saturday.

Additional reporting by Press Association

The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

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