Anti-Brexit protesters flooded into central London by the hundreds of thousands on Saturday, demanding that Britain's Conservative-led government hold a new referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union. The People's Vote March snaked from Park Lane and other locations to converge on the U.K. Parliament, where the fate of Brexit will be decided in the coming weeks.
Marchers carried European Union flags and signs praising the longstanding ties between Britain and continental Europe. The protest drew people from across Britain who are determined to force Prime Minister Theresa May's government to alter its march toward Brexit.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, invited to help lead the march in favor of a second referendum, called the crowd gathered in central London impressive and unified.
There is a huge turnout of people here from all walks of life, of all ages and from all over the country, he tweeted. We are a Remain country now with 60 per cent wanting to stop the Brexit mess.
Police did not provide a crowd estimate. Independent legislator Chuka Umunna and others supporting a second Brexit referendum estimated the crowd at one million.
More than four million people endorsed an electronic petition this week in favor of revoking Article 50, the act that formally triggered the Brexit process.
The march comes as May, who opposes a second referendum on Britain's EU membership, is easing away from plans to hold a third vote on her troubled Brexit withdrawal plan, which has been strongly rejected twice by Parliament.
Almost three years after Britons voted to walk away from the EU, the bloc's leaders this week seized control of the Brexit timetable from May to avert a chaotic departure on March 29 that would be disruptive for the world's biggest trading bloc and deeply damaging for Britain.
EU leaders at a summit in Brussels set two deadlines for Britain to leave the bloc of nearly half a billion people or to take an entirely new path in considering its EU future.
They agreed to extend the Brexit date until May 22, on the eve of the EU Parliament elections, if May can persuade the British Parliament to endorse her Brexit divorce deal.
Failing that, they gave May until April 12 to choose between leaving the bloc without a divorce deal or deciding on a radically new path, such as revoking Britain's decision to leave, holding a new referendum on Brexit or finding a cross-party consensus for a very different kind of Brexit.