As I arrived at a bleak Parliament on a dark Tuesday morning I could not help but think that today was not going to be UKIP’s day. As you arrived out of Westminster tube station you could only see an army of blue and yellow flags held by bemused people reminiscent of unruly sheep. On my way out of the station I’m sure one baa’d at me – turns out she was just in favour of a people’s vote. I placed my UKIP rosette on my jacket and was ready to take on the remoaners.
As you walked up the road past the statue of Oliver Cromwell you could hear the bellowing of “out means out” and “Brexit now”. Finally, Brexiters are out in force. You see the usual faces representing different groups: UKIP, Leave Means Leave, Unity UK and even Green Leaves, the Brexit wing of the Green Party. Everyone is all smiles and approachable despite the raining conditions, united for one common cause. I heard a familiar voice, a branch member of mine from Barnet UKIP, arguing with a woman wearing a very unappealing pro-EU beret. He claimed “a people’s vote would comprise democracy in the country”. In response she shrugged and turned away, hitting us with her flag as she did so. I think this action sums up their cause perfectly, if I was on the losing side I’m sure I wouldn’t be too keen for a debate.
As the day wore on and the hail started pouring, Brexiters started leaving but a large amount of UKIP remained opposite Parliament, where most of the mainstream media were conducting interviews. Occasionally, you see a variety of MP’s walking past, most Ukippers take the opportunity to shout whatever point they want convey. Today we had the pleasant surprise of Nigel Evans, who valiantly gave a speech to the Commons a few weeks earlier in support of the 17.4m leave voters. In contrast, we also had the displeasure of Ben Bradshaw’s hurried scuttle, the remain Labour MP for Exeter. One prominent UKIP member shouted, “Think of the implications of betraying the British People”. It was safe to say Ben was not as accommodating.
During the mid-afternoon the clouds started disappearing and the sky turned a deep shade of blue, the day looked like it was going to change for the better. The mood shifted when we received information that the ERG and DUP were not planning to vote for the deal after all, thanks to the legal advice of Geoffrey Cox. Verses of “bye bye EU, bye bye” rung out almost in celebration. UKIP’s deputy leader Mike Hookam arrived outside Parliament and chatted with UKIP members/Brexiters alike. Mike is very accommodating when speaking with the public always up for questions, debate and pictures, a credit to the UKIP front bench.
As the evening arrived and the remainers started their daily light show, it was time for us to pack up and leave. We managed to score a victory in voting down Theresa May’s deal, but the Brexit war is certainly not over. We all go again tomorrow with fresh debates and the vote about taking no deal off the table. One thing is for certain, UKIP will have a presence outside of Parliament all week.