Pro-Brexit, pro Article 50 protestors have picketed the offices of a top London law firm who are plotting, on behalf of a secretive group of donors, to block the government from pulling the UK out of the European Union (EU).
Organisers described the shady actions of Mishcon de Reya as “an affront to the democratic will” as they held a noisy protest outside their offices on Kingsway near Holborn station in central London.
“What do we want? Brexit! When do we want it? Now!” they chanted. “One, two, three – Hands off our democracy! Five, six, seven, eight – Lawyer don’t decide our fate!” they continued.
Earlier this week, Mishcon de Reya said it had started legal action to demand the government “follow the correct process” and secure an act of Parliament before triggering Article 50, the formal divorce mechanism from the EU.
Considering that around 62 per cent of MPs and 78 per cent of the cabinet backed remaining in the EU, passing the bill would not be easy and could end in direct democracy and the popular will being overturned by elected representatives.
The law firm has refused to give the names of those backing the action, though property website Zoopla said its multi-millionaire CEO Alex Chesterman was supporting the move.
Posted by Invoke Article 50 now – a spiked campaign on Thursday, 7 July 2016
“17.4 million people voted for Brexit. It’s the biggest democratic mandate in British political history – and it must be respected,” Blair Spowart, an organiser of the protest, told Breitbart London in a statement.
“Mishcon De Reya’s planned challenge, on behalf of unknown business people, is an outrage to anyone who considers themselves a democrat, and that’s why we picketed their offices today,” he explained.
Mr. Spowart is from the “Invoke Article 50 NOW!” campaign, set up by the online magazine Spiked.
“The aftermath of the referendum has shown how fragile the idea of democracy is,” said Tom Slater, Spiked deputy editor and one of the campaign’s founders. Adding: “Our campaign is about defending Brexit, defending the demos, and defending the idea that the people should have the overarching say in politics.”
The elitist, anti-democratic backlash against popular sovereignty and the Brexit vote has been building pace since the referendum, particularly in largely pro-EU London.
Last week, an EU lawyer told a supportive crowd of mostly young, middle-class demonstrators marching on Parliament that “the Prime Minister can, and indeed should, ignore the referendum result. He should give it to Parliament to decide. This referendum is non-binding.”
To rapturous cheers, he said the “simple but constitutionally significant point” must be “taken seriously by the general public and their elected representatives,” before explicitly denouncing democratic process and arguing that only technocrats and “experts” should have a say on such issues.
“What is needed is for the general public to demand the referendum is voted down in Parliament,” he added.
The two rival sides are set to clash head on this Saturday in Green Park, where a “Picnic Against Brexit” and a counter demonstration are planned.