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Thousands in Gibraltar sign petition to stop Brexit as a million march in London for another referendum

Thousands in Gibraltar sign petition to stop Brexit as a million march in London for another referendum

An online petition demanding the UK Government stops the Brexit process had been signed by over five million people by Sunday evening, including several thousand from Gibraltar.

It is now the most popular ever submitted to the UK Parliament website, moving ahead of a 2016 petition calling for a second EU referendum.

Data from the petition showed it had been signed by 3,874 people in Gibraltar, representing 16% of the 24,119 voters who were registered at the time of EU referendum in 2016, in which Gibraltar voted by 96% to remain in the bloc.

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The poll gathered pace over the weekend as hundreds of thousands of people descended on central London to join a march on Parliament and demand a final say for the public over Brexit.

Organisers of the Put it to the People march claimed one million people joined the peaceful procession through the capital.

Marchers waving EU flags and carrying their placards emblazoned with political messages weaved their way from Hyde Park Corner to Parliament Square on Saturday.

Among them were many people from Gibraltar, including Jonathan Golden who carried a Gibraltar flag tied to a five-metre fishing rod, ensuring it was visible above the crowds.

Mr Dolden said the turnout had been beyond expectation and that he hoped it would make a difference.

“Who knows what’s going to happen in the House of Commons over the next week, let alone the next two or three weeks, but all we can is make our voice heard,” he told the Chronicle.

“I’m here to fly the flag of Gibraltar, to talk about the 34,000 of us and also to remind everyone that there are 12,000 people across the border in Spain, many of them EU nationals.”

“We’re all fearful for our future.”

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Among other Gibraltarians in the crowd was GSD MP Daniel Feetham, who was accompanied on the walk by a member of the party’s executive, law student Chris Edwards.

“It was a great feeling but also humbling to form part of this massive grass roots movement that refuses to give up the fight,” Mr Feetham said.

“Simply because we voted to leave does not mean we have to leave at all costs and on any terms.”

“The terms of our exit are just as important as the decision to leave and they should be put to the people in another referendum with remain as an option. The fight goes on.”

On Saturday, MPs lined up on stage to address the crowds outside Parliament and call on the government to provide a People’s Vote on Brexit.

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson accused the Prime Minister of having “lost control” of the Brexit process and said he could only back her deal if “you let the people vote on it too”.

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Former Conservative, now Independent, MP Anna Soubry urged her parliamentary colleagues to “put your country first, get into the lobbies and vote for a People’s vote”.

Also addressing the crowds, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, called for Article 50 to be withdrawn.
“It’s time to give us, the British people, a final say on Brexit,” he said.

Saturday’s demonstrations follow EU leaders agreeing to delay Brexit to give Prime Minister Theresa May a final chance to get her deal through Parliament.

Leaders agreed to extend Brexit to May 22 if Mrs May can get MPs to back her deal in the Commons at the third time of asking.

If the vote is not passed, the UK will have to set out an alternative way forward by April 12, which could mean a much longer delay – with the UK required to hold elections to the European Parliament – or leaving without a deal at all.

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Photos by Eyleen Gomez

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