We asked Remainers why they want to stop Brexit

We said hi to the 48% at the Stop Brexit March in Manchester

Sunday was a big day for Theresa May. Not only was it the start of the Tory party conference in Manchester, it was also her birthday. Whilst anti-austerity protesters gathered en masse near the conference centre, a far smaller group of people adorned in EU flags and Liberal Democrat baseball caps had assembled in All Saints Park, outside Manchester Metropolitan university.

But what did they actually want? And were they going to be wishing Theresa a happy 61st?

Charlie 19 and Cosi 14, Students, from Leeds

Charlie and Cosi

Charlie and Cosi

Why have you come here today?
I study Middle Eastern Studies and Politics so I know my shit. I genuinely believe in the EU. It’s not perfect: nothing is perfect. But I believe it is a way to keep peace within Europe. If you look at the statistics and all the charts, they show that peace was only kept in Europe once the EU formed. I come from a background where Fascism was watching over my family generations ago and I don’t want to ever go back to a situation where Europe is divided.

My parents were German and Italian and that was kind of frowned upon. I don’t want to go back to a time where it’s frowned upon that two people in love, because they come from different countries, can’t be together.

Do you think the march will make any difference?
The Tory conference is happening today and it will show them that we are still here, and that we have a voice. It’s a narrow victory for leave and you can’t just ignore half of the vote. Democracy does not just end with a single vote. Otherwise it would have ended centuries ago when we had our first election and we’d have gone okay we don’t need to vote ever again.
We’ve had one referendum that was advisory and had a 4% leeway to one side. That’s not a majority. That’s not a win. That’s: okay – the country is split and divided and we need to find some solutions.

What do you think the Conservatives will take from this march today?

Cosi: I’m not really sure to be fair

Charlie: I think they’ll ignore us, but I think they’ll know we’re here.

Cosi: She’s a better speaker than me.

It’s Theresa May’s birthday today

Charlie: I don’t care.

What would you like to say to her on her birthday?

Cosi: I hope you don’t have a nice birthday. I really hope you don’t.

Charlie: I hope Theresa May is miserable because we’re still here noticing she wants a little dictatorship and we’re not appreciating that shit.

Louis 15 and James 15, Students, from Huddersfield

Louis and James

Louis and James

Why have you come to protest today?

Louis: I disagree with everything that’s going on with Brexit. It’s our future that it’s affecting –

James: And we weren’t given the vote.

Louis: We weren’t allowed to decide this. We were 14 at the time.

Do you think you can actually change anything?

James: No,we don’t, but we think Brexit is going to implode on itself: there’s no way it can come out positively. Someone is going to realise at some point or other in politics, so we’ve got to wait for that to happen. But we’ve got to feel like we’re doing something and that’s why we’re here.

It’s Theresa May’s birthday today, do you have anything you’d like to say to her?

James: Happy Birthday.

Louis: Thanks a lot.

Ros, Age Undisclosed “old enough not to say,” Campaigner, from Essex



Why have you come today?

I’m a very passionate Remainer. I think we stand to lose an awful lot if we do leave. I’m hoping that sooner or later the government will come to sense and will accept that people wanted to send a message in the referendum, but they weren’t fully informed.

I think it’s important they understand all that we’re going to give up in terms of our rights to live, to travel, to retire, to work, to study in any of the 27 countries. I think particularly for the younger generation, that’s something really important for them and their future.

Do you think the march today will make any difference?

The march today? It’s one of a series. We’ve had very big marches in London and I hope this one is going to be big. I don’t know whether the government is listening, but I think if the press and the media will report what we’re doing and how passionate everybody is, I hope we'll make a difference.

It’s Theresa May’s birthday today, have you got anything to say to her?

Yes, you should have learnt some sense by now – at your age.

Felix, 18, Student and pro-EU Campaigner, from Cardiff

Felix (left)

Felix (left)

Why have you come today?
I’m here with Students for the EU and The Young European. We’ve come to set up our stall here today to try and get students more motivated in the fight against Brexit and to join some of our campaigns. We’ve got our newspaper here, so we’re trying to sell The Young European newspaper to some students.

Do you think the march will make any difference?

I hope so. What I hope to see is that the students get more involved and more active, even try and write some articles for us, to show that we’re really trying to be as proactive as possible. At the end of the day Brexit is going to damage us the most really, educational programmes at risk for example.

Do you think students have been involved enough already?

I have seen students involved, but I think there needs to be a bit more effort. I think the common feeling is that it’s mostly the older generation which are fighting our cause at the moment. We need to come out and fight it for ourselves now.

It’s Theresa May’s birthday today, what would you like to say to her?

Happy Birthday. But I mean a lot of people have their birthday today so it’s nothing significant.

Anonymous, 19, 1st year French and Spanish and Anonymous, 21, first year English Language and French student, from Manchester University

1st year French and Spanish (left) 1st year English and French (right)

1st year French and Spanish (left) 1st year English and French (right)

Why have you come to the march today?
Anon (left):
As a language student, first of all I think it’s important to protect British students’ access to the Erasmus scheme. It opens up a lot of doors to a lot of people. It gives them opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise. Also, I believe in an open Europe. I believe in the rights of EU migrants to come and work here.

Anon (right): I’m from Italy so I believe in the European Union as a community. I think being here in the UK, I would be at risk. This is my first year and I’ll be here for the next five years, probably, so I would like that my rights be considered.

Do you think the march today will have any impact?
Anon (left):
I mean, I’m not saying we’re going to reverse the vote but it’s good to show resistance, to show that people still have other ideas. We’ve not been brainwashed.

It’s Theresa May’s birthday today, do you have a message on her big day?

Anon (left) Was it in the words of Morrisey? What did he say? I’ve come to wish you an unhappy birthday.

David, 27, Civil Engineer, from Warrington



Why did you come to the march today?
I feel strongly about Brexit, so I thought I’d come and lend my support.

What do you feel strongly about?

I think Brexit is a bad decision and I want to show I feel strongly about it and they should reconsider.

So do you think the march will achieve anything?

I think the march will at the very least show that there’s a strong feeling that this is a bad decision.