Last weekend on Saturday 20 October hundreds of thousands of people marched on the streets of London to show their support for and lobby politicians to back a further referendum to allow the public to have their say on the final deal of the Brexit negotiations.
Among those in attendance were VP Communities Jamie Grant who was representing the Students Union along with some of the Universities students following the passing of a recent motion which gave the union a mandate to support the referendum.
Grant told Brig that in 2017 the Student Union was involved in a project with the UK Council for International Student Affairs on ‘the student experience surrounding Brexit’. Grant said that the conclusions and insights drawn from the report were “troubling”, particularly findings around international students who the report said felt “extremely anxious and worried over how Brexit may affect their studies”
Due to these findings and the significant number of different nationalities represented at Stirling, in particular, this prompted several sabbatical officers to become involved including VP Education Daniel Wright because according to Grant the relationship between the European Union and the UK is ‘of paramount importance … to the staff/student experience here at Stirling’
When asked about the Peoples Vote march Grant said:
“On Saturday 20th October, myself and a cohort of Stirling students travelled to London to join the ‘People’s Vote: March for our Future’ event.
‘The People’s Vote campaign believes this issue absolutely affects the student experience, and it’s on this basis our motion was successfully voted for by our members.
Grant gave a speech at the rally as a representative of Scotland which he describes as both an “absolute honour” and “terrifying”.
In his speech he criticised the Government’s progress in their negotiations, saying that all they have delivered is “28 months of pain.”
He also criticised the promises of the leave campaign and how everyone “has something to lose” from Brexit.
He delivered a message to young people who he said had “their futures traded away,”
“It doesn’t matter if you voted leave or remain, or if you were part of the 1.4 million who didn’t have a say at all, you matter, your voice matters.”
Grant also told Brig that the campaign for people to have their say on the final outcome of Brexit was now in a phase of ‘mass mobilisation’ and that people should write to their MP to express their opinions and thoughts about what matters to them regarding Brexit
The MSP for Stirling, Bruce Crawford said of the march:
“The People’s Vote march in London was a large demonstration, and the UK Government would do well to sit up and listen.
“It is clear that across the whole of the UK, people are making their voices heard and they are angry about the direction that this Tory Government is taking us.”
However whilst he was “pleased with the commitment of SNP MPs to support a People’s Vote.” Crawford explained that if the results of a Peoples Vote were similar to the EU referendum of 2016 and Scotland voted to remain whilst the rest of the UK wanted to leave the EU then “If the UK Government intends to ignore the clear will of the people of Scotland, then we must have the ability to carve our own future.”