Madness! IAN BIRRELL finds how one small sign sums up the state of our divided ...

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Captain Jean-Luc Picard should have known better than to trust our weather. 

But scarcely had Sir Patrick Stewart pointed to the symbolism of the sun shining on the People’s Vote campaign than drops of rain began to fall on the marchers massed near Parliament.

It did not dampen the mood of defiance. Hoods went over heads and umbrellas were unfurled as the star finished an impassioned speech in his rich thespian tones to fellow protesters demanding a second Brexit referendum.

Many of the demonstrators carried homemade banners. Some were angry, some crude, some offensive – but lots of them displayed very typical British wit. ‘I am quite cross,’ read one. ‘I voted Remain but all I got was this lousy Brexit,’ read another

Many of the demonstrators carried homemade banners. Some were angry, some crude, some offensive – but lots of them displayed very typical British wit. ‘I am quite cross,’ read one. ‘I voted Remain but all I got was this lousy Brexit,’ read another

Then a big screen switched to the proceedings a few hundred feet away in the chamber as MPs voted on the Letwin amendment – and there was jubilation at seeing tellers deliver a result forcing Boris Johnson into another Brexit extension.

‘What we have done is historic because we defeated Johnson again,’ said Shadow Brexit Minister Sir Keir Starmer, who was met by cheers from the crowd.

‘We are not going to let him rip us out with this sellout deal.’

So regardless of the rain, those seeking to stop Brexit – or at least give the public a final say – continue to make much of the political weather. 

Sir Patrick Stewart pointed to the symbolism of the sun shining on the People’s Vote campaign than drops of rain began to fall on the marchers massed near Parliament. It did not dampen the mood of defiance

Sir Patrick Stewart pointed to the symbolism of the sun shining on the People’s Vote campaign than drops of rain began to fall on the marchers massed near Parliament. It did not dampen the mood of defiance

‘We are united in believing every form of Brexit is worse than remaining in the European Union,’ said London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The Mayor’s message that ‘Brexit has been a complete and utter mess’ was backed by hundreds of thousands of people who descended on Central London yesterday to demonstrate in favour of a ‘final say’ referendum.

Banners showed protesters had come from Aberdeen to Cornwall, many of them draped in EU colours or carrying its blue and gold starred flag. 

‘We are European,’ tweeted television chef Rick Stein, sharing an image of himself on the march.

Footage posted to social media showed Rees-Mogg, his young son Peter, and Cabinet Minister Andrea Leadsom being heckled by demonstrators as they left Parliament under police escort to shouts of ‘shame’

Footage posted to social media showed Rees-Mogg, his young son Peter, and Cabinet Minister Andrea Leadsom being heckled by demonstrators as they left Parliament under police escort to shouts of ‘shame’

Among the protesters was Pauline Smith, 70, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, who said she was demonstrating for her six grandchildren but also honouring her father Tommy, who had fought at El Alamein in the Second World War and who died last year.

‘He thought his lasting legacy was peace in Europe and so he loved the EU, with countries having to co-operate,’ she said. 

‘We have to stop the injustice of Brexit.’

This was the fourth – and biggest according to the organisers – march run by the People’s Vote campaign since the referendum took place 40 long months ago.

The People’s Vote claimed one million people took part yesterday after they distributed 1.5 million leaflets, with 172 coaches bringing in people to join a demonstration designed to fuel the pressure on deadlocked parliamentarians. 

A spokesman admitted, however, that it was impossible ‘to put an exact figure on the crowd’ as the march meandered from Hyde Park to Parliament Square, where protesters gathered for speeches under Sir Winston Churchill’s statue.

Hugo Dixon, deputy chairman of the People’s Vote campaign, told me they were putting on a show of force to influence all the forthcoming critical votes in Parliament so that MPs gave the electorate the final say on Brexit.

‘Public opinion has turned against Brexit,’ said Mr Dixon. ‘It would be undemocratic not to check with the people if they still wish to amputate ourselves from our continent. I’m moderately optimistic we will win. But nothing is in the bag.’

I stopped to chat with one man holding a banner in Latin reading ‘Tempora mutant, et nos in illis mutamur’ which translates as ‘Times change and we change with them’ – even if the grammar wasn’t quite correct

I stopped to chat with one man holding a banner in Latin reading ‘Tempora

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