Hundreds of thousands of people, including members of both ALDE Party members the UK Liberal Democrats and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, took to the streets of London and Belfast on Saturday as part of a demonstration for a new vote on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
More than 700,000 are estimated to have marched on the streets of London - almost the populations of two EU countries Luxembourg and Malta combined – making it the largest public demonstration since the protests in 2003 against the UK’s participation in the Iraq war.
ALDE Party Vice President Ilhan Kyuchyuk was among those who participated in the march in London, joining his MEP colleague Catherine Bearder.
In his speech to the rally, Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said it was "a tragedy this country is being divided by generation" and that the "majority" of his generation have voted to leave, "taking the freedom" away from young voters. "There is no deal better than the one we have now: it is better for Britain and better for Europe,” he said.
In Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, thousands joined the Rally for Remain through the city centre. Alliance Party leader Naomi Long spoke from the stage and said: “We have the EU to thank for the longest period of peace and prosperity in our recent history [...] Nowhere else was the help more appreciated than here in Northern Ireland [...] This is not about the union or a united Ireland, it’s about people coming together and saying just like the EU, we value integration, cooperation and working together in the best interests of everyone in our society.”
Then, speaking to Theresa May, she added: “You may rely on the DUP, but they do not speak for me and they do not speak for the 56%. Our voices will be heard. We are the 56% and growing who want to remain in the EU and we are determined to do that.”
Just ahead of the Rally this weekend, the UK Liberal Democrats announced they are to begin the process of selecting MEP candidates for the 2019 European Parliament elections, with leader Sir Vince Cable telling The Independent newspaper he was taking the “sensible step” in case Theresa May fails to secure a deal before March 2019 and requests an extension to the Article 50 process.