London marches in support of EU, seeks to reverse Brexit
The demonstrators said they were the 48% who voted to remain in the EU during the June 2016 referendum.world Updated: Mar 26, 2017 07:43 IST
Two days before Prime Minister Theresa May begins the process to leave the European Union, thousands marched on the streets of London on Saturday amid heightened security, demanding the undoing of Brexit or the continuation of benefits of remaining in the EU.
Organised under the forum Unite for Europe, supporters said they were the 48% who voted to remain in the EU during the June 2016 referendum. Carrying placards and shouting slogans in support of EU, protestors included many European citizens living in Britain.
May is due to send the notification under Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty to Brussels on Wednesday. March 25 is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community.
Several anti-Brexit leaders such as Liberal Democrats leaders Tim Farron and Nick Clegg were due to address the gathering. The party wants a second referendum to be held on the final terms of Brexit decided by the end of March 2019.
The forum said: “We are the 48% who voted against Brexit and those who were not allowed to vote against it – the young and the EU nationals living, working and paying taxes in the UK. We are outraged by the government’s current direction in dealing with the result of the referendum.”
“We want to remain a member of the Single Market. We want to secure the benefits that the EU membership brings us. We want a guarantee that the EU citizens already here will have the right to stay”.
The march wound its way along arterial roads of the capital around Park Lane, Green Park, before heading towards parliament, where a higher level of security was in place in view of last Wednesday’s attack that left five dead and many injured.
Farron said: “The choice is who should decide the final (Brexit) deal. Should it be politicians or the people? The Liberal Democrats say the people. We can turn the tide of populism and we can change the direction of our nation — liberals and progressives can and will win again.”
“I am not prepared to accept that our country is inevitably to become meaner, smaller, poorer. If you believe in democracy then you accept defeat with good grace... and you keep on campaigning for a better Britain,” he added.
First Published: Mar 25, 2017 19:03 IST