As much as Brits cherish every opportunity to display their Union Jack flag, EU’s blue-and-yellow pennant blanketed London today as thousands took to the streets to mark the second anniversary of the Brexit vote. The Guardian estimates that 100,000 showed up at today’s rallies.
While many anti-Brexit protestors are carried placards challenging UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, many more clamored for a referendum that would allow the public can weigh in on the final terms of the separation, no matter where they stood on the issue.
Remainers vs. leavers
A non-profit coalition called the People’s Vote has been lobbying to government for more transparency on the negotiations. “The Brexit process is a complete mess and the negotiations are going badly, which makes it more likely that we will get a bad deal,” states the public invitation to today’s rally.
A mess. (Reuters/Henry Nicholls)
There was certainly no shortage of clever protest signs, but many defaulted to the EU’s blue pennant (specified as Pantone Reflex Blue in the flag’s graphic standards) to signify their solidarity with the rest of the bloc. Today’s rallies underscored how much fervor Britons still have for the bloc’s symbol. In 2016, 16,000 people signed a petition that thwarted the government’s move to remove all EU flags from public buildings.
Protests at Trafalgar Square. (Reuters/Henry Nicholls)(Reuters/Russell Cheyne)“People’s Vote” march in central London.(Reuters/Russell Cheyne)(Reuters/Russell Cheyne)
Invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, the UK government scheduled to officially terminate its membership from the EU at 11 pm on March 29, 2019—but there is a 21-month transition deal agreed that keeps the UK and the rest of the EU on much the same terms.