“There is no tangible evidence that there is any benefit to us leaving the European Union,” she said. “But there is plenty of evidence to the detriment of us leaving. We will suffer in the economy and our strength on the world community if we leave.”
Carrying a sign reading, “No Brexit is ideal,” she acknowledged that “People have Brexit fatigue, and we need to get on with other better things. There are lots of issues that are being sidelined because people do not have the time or resources to deal with that.”
On the coming parliamentary vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal, she said: “I hope that the deal will not pass, but I have a sinking feeling that it might. But it cannot just be a rabbit-out-of-a hat scenario. We have to know what is in the deal. The problem with leaving is that it is not something that just happens. Whatever is in that deal is not the end.”
Derek Lancaster, 70, a retired environment agency worker from Preston in northwestern England, said: “I have a feeling that Boris Johnson’s deal will get voted down, but I think he’s aiming for that. He has done his job and got a deal, even if it does not get approved.”
“We need an election to get some strength in character in our M.P.s,” he added. “The will of the people needs to be upheld.”
This is not the first time that throngs of people have taken to the streets over Brexit. A year ago, about 700,000 gathered in advance of a previous deal reached by Theresa May, who was then prime minister.
But even as the protesters were assembling on Saturday, for the supporters of Brexit, the people have already had their say.
Reporting was contributed by Stephen Castle, Mark Landler, Ben Mueller, Marc Santora, Anna Schaverien, Alan Yuhas and Megan Specia.