March for Europe: Thousands take to streets in cities across Britain in support of EU membership

Simultaneous demonstrations took place in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Oxford, and Cambridge

Jon Stone
Wednesday 07 September 2016 16:22
Crowds gather for March for Europe

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across the UK in protest against Brexit.

Simultaneous demonstrations were called in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Oxford, and Cambridge in support of a closer relationship between Britain and the continent.

In London, campaigners marched from Park Lane to Westminster, staging a rally in front of the Houses of Parliament.

MPs will return to Westminster from recess Monday here they will debate whether a second European Union referendum should be held. The Government has already ruled out holding another plebiscite.

A sea of blue European flags filled Parliament square shortly after lunchtime, with marchers singing along to The Beatles' song 'Hey Jude', replacing the title words instead with "EU".

Homemade banners were also popular on the route, with many cracking jokes in support of the EU.

A minor scuffle erupted in the afternoon on Whitehall, near Downing Street – when a masked man stole comedian Eddie Izzard’s hat. The man was restrained by police as Izzard gave chase in his high-heel shoes.

He ultimately recovered his hat with the assistance of police and supportive members of the public.

Scotland Yard could not immediately confirm this afternoon whether the man had been arrested or simply restrained.

The incident occurred after a group of Brexit campaigners tried to block the route of the march with a banner.

The nationwide protests follow a larger march held in the weeks immediately following June’s referendum.

Britain voted to leave the European Union by 52 per cent to 48 per cent. The Government has yet to outline the details of what Brexit will entail; when asked, Government spokespeople say that “Brexit means Brexit”.

* This article originally referred to Britain having voted to leave the EU by 53 per cent to 47 percent. It has now been corrected to refer to the correct figures of 52 per cent (rounded up from 51.9) and 48 per cent (rounded down from 48.1). 7/9/16

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