Hundreds attend ‘Brexit isn’t working’ protest

Photo by Peter Benson

Hundreds of people have gathered in Manchester, where the Conservative Party Conference is taking place, to say that Brexit isn’t working. This is all in the context of food and fuel shortages and the HGV crisis.

People have travelled from Leeds, Lancaster, the North East and Manchester itself to make their voices heard.

There is rising popular demand for action to tackle the growing national crisis and set a new direction.

As the protestors greeted party delegates, they affirmed our national democratic rights, threatened by Priti Patel’s current Bill, in this political protest.

A spokesperson from the group said:

“The Tories’ ruinous Brexit deal is trashing the country. Peace in Northern Ireland is threatened, there are shortages in the shops and crops rotting in the fields. Small businesses are being crushed by Brexit red tape, whole industries are threatened, some are trashed. It’s time to say loud and clear, Brexit is not working.”

The group is keen for a vastly improved deal with the European Union, where free movement of workers is re-instated. They are calling for a return to the Single Market and Customs Union.

They also want an end to the hostile environment and for guarantees on rights for EU citizens in the UK. In addition, they are very concerned about the upcoming Policing Bill with its threats to peaceful protest.

Louise Brown, from Sunderland, speaking at the event

The speakers at the event included

Raul Kohli – host – comedian from Newcastle
Mike Galsworthy – Scientists for EU/ Bylines Network
Louise Brown – North East for Europe
Alex Haida – Make Votes Matter Manchester
Simon Spurrell – MD Cheshire Cheese Co/ iTG Group
Alex Gunter – Grassroots for EU
Cosi Doerfel Hill – In Limbo Project/ the3million
Louise Harrison – Ski Racing Guide for Visually Impaired
Femi Oluwole – campaigner/ writer
Richard Bentall – Professor of Psychology
Richard Wilson – Leeds for Europe
Jake Bowers – Drive to Survive

Louise Brown, from North East for Europe, focused on the concerns about the replacement of EU funding in the region in the context of the government’s so-called ‘levelling up’ agenda. There are real worries for many important projects in the area, about how and indeed whether the government will replace this much-needed funding now that Brexit has happened. Of particular concern is that any ‘new funding’ may be restricted to capital building projects, without taking account of the need for skills training and education.

Also taking part was internationally famous ‘stop Brexit’ protester Steve Bray (SODEM Action).

Protestors were from right across the political spectrum. They also said it doesn’t matter how you voted in 2016, as the event is about the kind of Brexit introduced by the government.

This Brexit isn’t working.

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