In a display of fervent pro-European Union sentiment, hundreds of demonstrators waving EU flags converged in central London on Saturday, urging Britain to rejoin the bloc.
The National Rejoin March (NRM), which took place near Hyde Park, culminated in Parliament Square amidst a cacophony of supportive motorists honking their horns in solidarity.
Protesters proudly held placards aloft, bearing slogans such as “the road to rejoin the EU starts here” and “rejoin, rejoice.” The NRM movement passionately advocates for Britain’s return to EU membership, a move triggered by the 2016 Brexit referendum, which saw the nation vote to leave the European Union.
Under the leadership of former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, an exit deal was negotiated and subsequently came into effect in 2021, with a scheduled review set for 2025.
Peter Corr, the leader and co-founder of NRM, explained his motivation for organizing the march, stating that it arose from a sense that “everyone had given up” on the cause. Corr, a lorry driver hailing from Derby in central England, expressed his belief that Brexit had been a grave error, with the burden falling especially heavily on working-class and less affluent citizens. He emphasized the need for collective action to address these issues.
However, the opposition Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, faced scrutiny on Friday as recent comments prompted accusations from the ruling Conservatives that he sought to “unpick Brexit.” Starmer vehemently denied any intention to return to the EU, its customs union, or the single market, asserting that there was no compelling case for such a move.
Similarly, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the fourth-largest party in parliament, highlighted a shifting public discourse. The party, which had previously pledged to “stop Brexit,” acknowledged that while they aspired for Britain to regain a central role in Europe, they remained realistic about the time and effort required to achieve this goal. Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrats’ leader, articulated these sentiments ahead of his party’s annual conference on Saturday.
As the debate over Britain’s relationship with the European Union continues to simmer, the NRM’s spirited march serves as a vivid illustration of the ongoing divisions and impassioned voices that shape the country’s political landscape.