The Put It To The People march will stomp past Number 10 in a powerful riposte to the PM's grubby tactics

Sarah Wollaston
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The Put It To The People march will stomp past Number 10 in a powerful riposte to the PM's grubby tactics

The Put It To The People march will stomp past Number 10 in a powerful riposte to the PM's grubby tactics

If the prime minister is so sure that she is on their side – and if she is so sure that she is implementing the “will of the people” – she should not be afraid to ask. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to march past Theresa May’s door this Saturday to demand that she does just that.

Having been twice rejected by historic margins, the PM’s unloved deal certainly doesn’t represent the will of parliament. And there is no evidence for her claim that it delivers on expectations of Brexit. The simple truth is that it pleases neither the 48 per cent who voted remain, nor a very large proportion of those who wanted to leave.

Forcing it through by a combination of threats, brinkmanship and grubby patronage will leave it tainted with a legacy of bitterness and resentment.

Conservative MPs will need to consider very carefully whether they want this particular albatross rotting around their necks for decades to come. Worse still, whether they wish to share responsibility for the unfolding carnage of no deal, given the prime minister’s repeated threats to go ahead with that self-inflicted wound if she does not get her way. They should not wait until their toes are over the edge of the cliff but be prepared to resign now if they want to make a difference.

The prime minister’s ill-judged rant against parliament on Wednesday evening has, if anything, hardened the attitude of MPs. Many have been facing down the threats for years and they didn’t appreciate another open invitation to ramp up the personal attacks. MPs have been left with no other option but to use sometimes arcane process to register their objections, given that the government has been trampling on the will of parliament underfoot for years.

Since the outset, MPs have been trying to persuade the PM to abandon her red lines and reach out across the political divide. This has been rebuffed, despite the realities of a hung parliament, and it is far harder to build consensus at the end of a process than at the start, even more so when it meets the same rigid intransigence from No 10.

This Saturday presents the best and probably the last opportunity to demonstrate the strength of opinion for a People’s Vote.

Everyone should have the right to weigh up the risks and benefits of Brexit reality and give their valid consent to the deal, rather than just MPs. No one who can be there should leave it to others to make that clear to Theresa May and their MPs in the run up to next week’s crucial votes.

The march looks set to deliver a stark contrast to the miserable numbers commanded by Farage’s reverse Jarrow March, in effect campaigning for greater unemployment.

It’s time for the PM to stop running scared of the likes of Farage, Boris and Banks and to stop pandering to the ERG. She should look instead at the positive message of unity that will come from the hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, who will be dropping by on Saturday with a simple request to put it to the people.