Pro-EU supporters march for Britain to rejoin bloc

LONDON  -  Hundreds of people waving Europe­an Union flags on Saturday rallied in central London calling for Brit­ain to rejoin the bloc. The National Rejoin March (NRM) gathered near Hyde Park and was due to culminate in Parliament Square as supportive motorists beeped their horns. Pro­testers brandished placards read­ing “The road to rejoin the EU starts here”, and “Rejoin, rejoice”.

The NRM movement backs a return to membership of the EU which Brit­ain left after voting in favour of Brex­it in a 2016 referendum. An exit deal was negotiated under the premier­ship of former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson and came into force in 2021, with a review set for 2025. Peter Corr, leader and co-founder of NRM, said he decided to organise the march as it “felt like everyone had given up” on the cause.

“Brexit was a huge mistake, we’re all -- especially working class and poorer people -- paying for it and we need to do something about it,” Corr, a lorry driver from the central English city of Derby, told the do­mestic PA news agency. Protester Rachel Ashley, wearing over-sized star-shaped glasses, told AFP she was “just absolutely furious” about Brexit. “I know people who are ut­terly mortified. They are so deeply ashamed... They’ve been played for fools,” she said. Another Brexit crit­ic, Frances Smith, a 68-year-old re­tiree, said she saw herself as a Eu­ropean. “To take that away from me is wicked,” she said. The opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer on Friday was forced to deny he want­ed to rejoin the EU after recent com­ments led the ruling Conservatives to accuse him of wanting to “unpick Brexit”. Starmer insisted there was no case for returning to the EU, its customs union or the single market.

The leader of the Liberal Dem­ocrats, the fourth largest party in parliament, has also said voters are no longer “talking about Europe” on the doorstep. The Lib Dems had pre­viously pledged to “stop Brexit”. “We want Britain to be back at the heart of Europe but we’re also realistic that’s going to take some time,” Ed Davey said ahead of his party’s an­nual conference on Saturday.

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