An opportunity missed? The UK Freedom March for Brexit

On June 23rd 2016, the UK’s largest vote took place. A vote on whether it should stay as part of the ever encroaching European Union or cancel our expensive direct debit, tear up their rules and leave the failing club. Luckily, the sensible majority chose to leave by 4%.

2 years on and we still have not left, nor are we really that close to knowing what it will look like once we do leave. The arguments over how much of a Brexit we will get rages on. Some want a full Brexit, cutting all ties, ending payments and closing the “EU Citizens” line at passport control. The other half want us to stay in the EEA. Keep free movement & still be accountable to the EU court. Their argument being that we did not know what we were voting for other than because we were racists or xenophobes.

The anti-Brexit campaigners want a 2nd vote. A vote on whatever the final deal is, in a bid to vote it down and keep on dragging the sorry saga out in a bid to keep us in the EU. Sadly, it is also a view shared by many MP’s who despite being employed to work for their constituents, only care about their own vested interests. 100,00 (estimated) turned out in London 2 years after the vote, demanding another one. Draped in EU flags and face paint, they descended on Parliament Square to share their love of the EU & the faceless organisation where it is almost guaranteed they cant name an MEP. A group of people who proclaim they love the EU & different ethnicities also called a mixed race woman a “filthy negro” when she walked past.

As is par for the course, there is always a counter march. The march for freedom, made up of those who voted leave (the winning side) met at Victoria station. It was a mix of Union Jacks, England flags, UKIP flags & GI flags. Following a patriotic rendition of God Save the Queen, the march set off. There were chants of “We want our country back” and a few other Brexit chants. However, whenever the crowd got the attention of passing onlookers and open top buses, rather than make noise about the reason for leaving, the Tommy Robinson chants began.

Whilst there is no doubt that Tommy voted to leave, the message came across as mixed because of this. A good proportion of the people on the march would have been London a few weeks ago for the now fortnightly Tommy protests, but the march for Brexit was not the place for it.

As the march progressed to the end, the stage in Millbank, everyone was greeted by “Rule Britannia” blasting from the speakers. Richard Inman, from Veterans Against Terrorism began the proceedings & welcoming everyone from the different factions that made up the crowd and reminding people why they were there. Followed by an ex SAS member who re-iterated that the UK needs to tell the EU where to go in terms of negotiations. Other speakers included Gerard Batten, MEP Janice Atkinson & Anne Marie Waters. There was talk of free speech, Islamisation & how the UK needs to start voting for the smaller parties to send a message to elite in order for them to change their ways.

Not taking anything from those who did speak, where were all the big names from the referendum? Where was Farage, the man who practically is the face of Brexit? Or Aaron Banks, the money & mind behind Vote Leave? Or its famous supporters like John Cleese, Roger Daltry & Ian Botham. There were no reminders of what we voted for and what we are leaving, beyond immigration. Theres ridiculous trade laws which make goods more expensive, manufacturing laws which put companies out of business, UK fishermen being told they cant fish, the EU wanting full control of countries spending by 2023, the EU trying to take the fun out of the internet & anything else people enjoy (The UK government is also doing that too). So many reasons we voted to leave and this is not exhaustive but there was little to no sign of these yesterday.

Naturally and as expected, the speeches were interspersed with Tommy chants, some of the crowd not being able to manage congregating for more than 10 minutes without reminding everyone who’s in prison for 13 months. They only need to wait until July for the next Tommy gathering.