Many of the protesters said that they were travelling to London to have their voices heard because they feel ignored by their MPs.
Shelagh Boulton, a freelance consultant from Poole said: “Our MP is Michael Tomlinson, a member of the ERG, when we’ve written to him about Brexit we’ve been ignored. We were essentially told that we’re not in his voter demographic, but we’ve voted Tory for years.”
Michael Tomlinson, MP for North Poole and Mid-Dorset said “My constituency voted to leave and I am working hard to deliver that as MP for Mid Dorset & North Poole. However, I have been clear that honouring the result of the 2016 referendum is a key priority for me. Delivering Brexit is a matter of trust. We need to get on with Brexit. The other important matters that we can get on and discuss in Mid Dorset and North Poole include more police to keep our communities safe, better funding for our NHS and school and tackling climate change. These are issues that I am sure many voters, including Conservative voters will agree need to be prioritised.”
After the referendum, Michael Tomlinson’s constituency saw a 56%-44% divide in favour of Leave, but remain voters in the area say they feel left behind by the Brexit process.
Shelia Warbis, also from Poole, said “We’re marching because we know so much more about Europe now than we did during the referendum. We don’t want to come out. There are far too many negative things that will happen to the country as a whole.”
The march coincided with a number of significant votes, including Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal. However, West Dorset Conservative MP Oliver Letwin’s amendment meant that parliament would not vote on the deal until the withdrawal agreement was passed. On Tuesday the withdrawal agreement passed its second reading, but the government’s fast track timetable that would have got the legislation through parliament in just 3 days was rejected, giving parliament more time to scrutinise and add amendments to the bill, which could include a requirement for a people’s vote.
It’s such an important cause for our futures.
Local campaign group, Dorset for Europe, transported 10 coach loads of protesters from across Dorset to the march in London at the weekend.
Charlotte Phillips from Poole, pictured above as the second Zombie from the left, said “The atmosphere was so positive. It was especially great to see a massive range of ages, it’s such an important cause for our futures and it was incredible to be a part of something that resonates so deeply with so many people.”
Shelagh Boulton said: “We’re marching for the younger generation. We lived on the continent for several years and we want young people to have the same opportunities that we’ve had”.
After the march, Barbara Leonard, an organiser with Dorset for Europe, said the experience was “Inspiring, energising and fun: the best of Britain on display.”