Below is the transcript for most of the audio dispatch produced at the 24 March Rally. You can jump to the bottom to listen to the whole thing, which includes interviews with key speakers!
It has been 18 months since the country voted to leave the Europe Union, and nearly a year to the day that Article 50 was triggered. emotions from that highly divisive referendum are still running high, unaided by the general confusion around what Brexit will be.
Today I’m in Suffolk, on the Ipswich Waterfront, where a rally is being hosted to demand that the Government give the public a final say on what what Brexit should look like.
Waving placards and flags, the 800 strong crowd set off from the University of Suffolk in good spirits, with their banners brightly contrasting the grey skies above.
Upon their return, they gathered outside for a keynote speech by Tim Evans, a campaigner from Is it Worth It?, who recently completed a 33-stop tour around the country in a suspiciously familiar big red bus.
Having finished his speech – and a questionable strip out of his EU-star adorned costume – Tim proceeded to introduce the speakers for the day.
One speaker was 24-year old Molly Williams, who is an British expat that currently lives in the Hague. Molly’s family are part of a group fighting in the Dutch courts for the retention of their EU rights after Brexit.
Molly herself is also heavily involved in Young European Voices, a group that details the potential effects of Brexit on young people living both in the EU and UK.
There was a strong political presence at the rally, with representatives from both Labour and the Liberal Democrats in attendance. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had just this morning sacked front-bencher Owen Smith for speaking out in favour of a second referendum. It demonstrates how even within party ranks, there is disagreement about how Brexit should be handled.
I wanted to find out why it was the parties were here, and how they believed Brexit would affect young people.
I first spoke to Labour councillor, Bryony Rudkin.
The Liberal Democats are the only party campaigning for a complete reversal to Brexit. James Sandbach was the LibDem candidate for Suffolk Coastal in 2017, and currently sits on the Saxmundham council.
Speaking to the marchers in attendance, I got a sense that people were finally starting to move on from the vote, and now just want a Brexit that will work best for the country.
I feel that the Let’s Stay Together rally was an attempt to begin to bridge the divide between the two Brexit camps, an olive branch extended to try and reunite people and heal wounds that have threatened to tear the country apart.
The referendum was nearly two years ago, and with just a year before the UK is due to leave the EU under the terms of article 50, we need to start asking important questions around this country’s future. Is Brexit worth it? What will our future relationship with the EU look like? Will we recover from the fallout, both politically and socially?
The attendants from this rally have an answer: Let’s stay together.