Scheffler and Donaldson join publishers on anti-Brexit march

Scheffler and Donaldson join publishers on anti-Brexit march

Figures from the publishing industry including Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson joined over one million other protesters at Saturday’s march in London.

The protest was calling for a second referendum, or "People’s Vote" on Brexit as the UK’s official exit date draws closer. Huge crowds walked through London carrying banners and protest signs before converging in front of Parliament. Donaldson and Scheffler carried a Gruffalo-shaped protest placard through the capital’s streets.

Scheffler, a committed pro-European, told The Bookseller: "The mood is great, to see so many people - it's probably the biggest pro-Europe demonstration England has seen, ever. Apart from that I'm lost for words: baffled, I can't believe the state we're in."

Meanwhile author Julia Donaldson, said it was her first protest march, other than pro-libraries demonstrations, and an early excursion to Greenham Common. "I am a European - I'm not sure sure about another referendum, I didn't want the first one, its more just wanting to show the rest of Europe that lots of people want them," she said.

Scheffler and Donaldson were joined on the march by Macmillan Children's Books publisher Belinda Rasmussen and publicist Alyx Price.

Author Anthony Horowitz and Curtis Brown chairman Jonny Geller were among a host of other writers, booksellers and members of the publishing industry joining the throng. Horowitz tweeted a picture of the march, saying: “I can now say quite honestly that I’m one in a million.”

Jake Lingwood also posted a photo of a sign reading “Marie Kondo – tidy up this mess! Brexit does not spark joy”. He tweeted: “Hands down my best placard of the day for professional and artistic reasons.”

Many publishers have implemented a range of measures to cope with possible border problems caused by Brexit, including printing titles early and offering discounts to European distributors.

The march came after EU leaders agreed a delay to the UK’s departure date but the future of Brexit still hinges on Theresa May’s ability to get her deal through Parliament.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister held a crunch meeting with prominent Brexiteers in her party in a bid to get their support. She was due to hold a Cabinet meeting this morning amid reports some ministers want her to quit and be replaced with a caretaker like David Lidington and Michael Gove.

Support for a petition to revoke Article 50 continued to grow over the weekend, surging past 5.3 million signatures by early Monday morning.