Battle of the placards as protests highlight deadlock over Brexit

NO DEAL, a general election, a second referendum and scrapping Brexit entirely were some of the opinions shared as protesters clashed in a demonstration in Guildhall Square on Saturday.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 9:23 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:06 pm
Call For Another Election Protest at Guildhall Square, Portsmouth - Portsmouth Momentum Chair, Cal Corkery and Portsmouth Unison Jon Woods lead the chanting. Picture: Vernon Nash (190119-018)

Labour and Tory campaigners chanted, handed out leaflets and waved placards as they shared their views on how to break the Brexit deadlock.

 Protesters for Labour told passers-by that they wanted a general election. Labour party council candidate Cal Corkery said: ‘We need a general election because parliament is in deadlock. Jeremy Corbyn needs to be in No 10.’

When asked what the Labour leader could do differently for Brexit, Cal added: ‘Theresa May has played hardball with the EU and it hasn’t worked. I think they would be more open to talking with Corbyn.’

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Loz Humphries from Southsea said: ‘I hate the Tories with the power of a thousand suns and I think following a general election there should be another referendum with both Leave and Remain sides being entirely transparent.’

The 44-year-old added: ‘We were misinformed during the Brexit referendum and I know a lot of people who have since changed their minds about leaving.’

Chris Cox was dropping his daughter off at the University of Portsmouth when he walked past the protest.

He said: ‘I completely disagree with what these people are saying. We voted for Brexit and the MPs need to stop fighting between each other. It shouldn’t be about party politics at this stage because they should all be fighting for the best deal.’

The 54-year-old added: ‘MPs have let standards slip on our roads, doctors and schools because they have been too busy bickering about Brexit and it has had a terrible effect.’

Counter campaigners refuted the idea that Corbyn could deal with Brexit and said if he were in power ‘the country would go to ruin’.

Martin Farmer, from Portsmouth, said: ‘Corbyn doesn’t know what he is doing and he has no idea about his Brexit position. It would be a disaster if he was in power and the Tories are the ones who will get this country back on its feet.

‘We need people getting back into employment and they are just going to let the Welfare state get bigger and then tax the rich and send the money to other countries.’ Other protesters waved an Israeli flag with England written on it between the Labour general election placards.

Martin added: ‘They always counter protest us so we wanted to do the same and we brought the flag just to wind them up.'