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A small contingent from Mull joined the Super Saturday protests in London last weekend as the Brexit debate saw parliament sitting on a Saturday for the first time in almost 40 years.
The group brandished a banner stating: ‘Mull says no to no deal’, which had been signed by islanders who wished to express their opinion at Westminster and had expressed a wish to have their names added – including Councillor Mary-Jean Devon and other prominent members of the Mull community.
Organised by Claire Bidwell (Tobermory) and Anne Cleave (Ulva Ferry), Claire offered to transport the banner down to the capital after plans to hold a march in Craignure had to be abandoned as there was no time to get the required licence.
Instead, Claire and Anne put Plan B into action and gathered the names using their own contacts and social media.
Although the list of names (67) only represented 2.23 per cent of Mull’s population, the objectors to the plan only numbered 0.14 per cent so Anne and Claire took this to be a fair representation of the views expressed.
Scotland voted no to leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum, but democracy dictated that the UK as a whole would leave.
What had concerned Anne and Claire was that the fall-out from exiting with no deal may prove disastrous.
‘We just have no way of knowing how a no deal Brexit will impact on so many things: medicine, employment, movement of food, goods and people, the law and many other aspects of everyday life,’ said Anne.
On Saturday, Claire was interviewed by television crews and other members of the press and, as promised, Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara left the House to show his solidarity with his constituents.
‘Brendan really was genuinely pleased that people from Mull had added their support via the banner and we had taken it all the way down to London.
‘He was worried about how the vote would go … it almost felt like we were supporting him … he was the only MP out before the vote.’
For those who missed it, MPs attending the Super Saturday Commons session voted 322 to 306 in favour of the Letwin amendment that would withhold support for a new Brexit deal.