Pro-Remain Highlanders to join Scottish invasion of London for anti-Brexit march

Scores of Highlanders will make a 24-hour round-trip to take part in the Put it to the People march in London, a pro-Remain event calling for a second referendum on Brexit.

Coach loads of protesters are expected to depart from cities across the central belt on Saturday including Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling.

Making the longest journey will be pro-Remainers from Inverness, where the prospect of a 12-hour journey each way has not put off the more than 70 who have already bought tickets.

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Organisers said transport from Scotland to the UK capital has been paid for in part by online donations from Scots based in London who are keen to see their home nation well-represented at the event.

Pro-EU campaigners outside Westminster fly EU and Scottish flags. Picture: AP/Matt Dunham

Around 30 students from the University of the Highlands and Islands, which has campuses across the north of the country, will be among those taking the Inverness coach - meaning a 1400-mile round-trip from their homes to London and back.

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The Put it to the People march aims to put pressure on MPs to back a second referendum as the Brexit deadline looms.

Organisers are confident it will attract even more marchers than the 100,000 who turned out in London for a similar event last October.

“We’re determined to have our voices heard, and to stop the shambles the Brexit has become, no matter how far we have to go,” said Gill Bird, organiser of the Highlands for Europe group.

The north of Scotland will be badly hit by the loss of EU funding and lower exports, and the departure of our EU fellow-citizens. But more than that, we just want peace, stability, prosperity and progress for our families and our communities.

She added: “It’s essential that Scotland is represented - not just because we voted remain, but also because we need to show the world the People’s Vote movement belongs to every part of the country. But it’s a long old way from the Highlands of Scotland to central London, and a real challenge if you have a large group of people.”

Sorcha Kirker, vice-president of the Highlands and Islands Student Association (HISA) said: “Students are a vital part of the push for a People’s Vote, as it is their future that is at stake with Brexit.

“Our members come from all over the UK and Europe, and on the day they will be travelling from as far away as Orkney and Stornoway. Some of them will make a round trip of over 1400 miles, using ferries, busses, trains, and taxis to get themselves to that starting line. If that isn’t dedication, then I don’t know what is.”