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Island student travelling 700 miles for anti-Brexit march

Sorcha Kirker
Sorcha Kirker

Hundreds of thousands of protesters from across the UK will descend on London today to demand a final say on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Among those attending the People’s Vote (PV) march is Sorcha Kirker, who has travelled more than 700 miles from Kirkwall in Orkney to add her voice to the demonstration.

The archaeology student, who is the vice president for higher education at the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA), has organised a coach down with support from both the PV campaign and For our Future’s Sake.

She will join celebrity cook Delia Smith and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden, as well as MPs from all the main political parties.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recorded a video message that will be played at the rally.

Ms Kirker, who is from Northern Ireland, said: “People feel there’s nothing they can do about it. This is one way people can get involved and create an impact.

“It’s really important for places like the Highlands and Islands to make their voices heard on this. These communities that are perhaps more removed from the decision-making, they have to shout even louder.”

She also highlighted the importance of EU funding to institutions like the University of the Highlands and Islands.

“Students from as far away as Orkney are engaged and do very much care about what comes out of this,” she added.

“Democracy really should be back in the hands of the people and we should be able to vote on the final terms of Brexit.”

Andrew Bowie, HISA Inverness president, said the young people whose voices were “ignored” two years ago “deserve to be heard now”.

The 21-year-old, who is studying history and politics, added: “The young people who did vote in 2016 overwhelmingly voted against Brexit, and there are many who didn’t get the chance to vote on something that is going to have a massive impact on the rest of their lives.

“At Inverness College UHI, and across the whole of the university, there are a number of EU students and I want to ensure that their ability to study, work and live here is not impeded.”

Emphasising the UK-wide nature of the event, Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Vince Cable described Brexit as a “big problem for many parts of the country”.

The march, which ends in Parliament Square, is expected to be the biggest public anti-Brexit protest so far amid growing support for another referendum.

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