Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in London on Saturday calling for a second vote on Brexit, Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Brexit supporters marched elsewhere in the city, but their march drew a much smaller crowd. The BBC estimated the crowd was in the hundreds.
The pro-Bexit supporters started 2 miles away at Victoria station but both sides ended a few hundred yards away at the Palace of Westminster.
Police were prepared on foot, in riot vans and in helicopters.
“The vast, vast majority of people, whether they are Leavers or Remainers, just want us to get on and come out this dreadful European Union super-state,” Conservative minister Pete Bone said.
“There were 17.4 million people that voted for leave and if there are a few thousand in London complaining about it — that doesn’t seem to really make much difference.”
The anti-Brexit campaigners marched on parliament to mark the second anniversary of the Brexit referendum, demanding a “people’s vote” on whether to approve the final deal Prime Minister Theresa May strikes with the EU, if an agreement is struck at all.
“I was in deep tears when the referendum happened, it looked like the future was pretty bad,” said Chiara Liduori, a 40-year-old Italian living in London.
“Brexit is awful not only because we want to keep things like it is, but because it is important to be within, in order to make changes.”
Under a blue sky, marchers set off from Pall Mall before passing May’s Downing Street office — to the sound of boos — on their way to Westminster to listen to speeches by anti-Brexit MPs including Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable and Tory rebel Anna Soubry.
“Brexit is not a done deal, not inevitable, Brexit can be reversed,” said Cable.
“The vote that took place two years ago is not for ever.”
Demonstrators held placards reading “I am a European citizen”, “ILoveu” and “we demand a vote on final Brexit deal.”
Emily Hill, 55, told AFP she was “very much in favour of letting the people” confirm they really want Brexit.
“I think lot of the voting was a protest vote, some people genuinely are not supportive of the EU, but I don’t believe it is the majority opinion in this country,” she added, European flag in hand.
Freelance journalist William Diaz, 52, said Brexit was “creating tensions” and a “much more polarised society.
“It is not something you can decide on a yes no vote,” he added.
Almost two-thirds of Britons believe they should have a final say on the Brexit deal, according to a poll published this week, although it is still unclear what would happen the government’s deal were rejected.