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Thousands march through Edinburgh in call to remain in European Union

SNP MP Joanna Cherry said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had behaved ‘like a dictator’ over his suspension of Westminster.

Protestors during the March to Remain in the EU for Peace and Climate Action in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Protestors during the March to Remain in the EU for Peace and Climate Action in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

By Lewis McKenzie, PA Scotland Political Reporter

Thousands of people have marched through Edinburgh in support of the UK remaining in the European Union.

Demonstrators gathered on the Royal Mile before proceeding to a rally held outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

Marchers were joined by politicians including SNP MP Joanna Cherry, Labour MP Ian Murray, the Scottish Government’s Europe minister Ben Macpherson, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, and Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater.

Ms Cherry, who has helped to lead legal action against Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament, said that the Prime Minister had behaved like a “dictator”.

“In order for us to give people a chance of another say on Brexit, we need to get Parliament up and running again,” Ms Cherry told the PA news agency.

“Of course, Boris Johnson has behaved like a dictator as the Prime Minister of a minority government suspending Parliament because it’s basically getting in his way.

“But I’m cautiously optimistic that the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court will, like Scotland’s supreme court, find that the prorogation was unlawful and that Parliament will be returning to work soon.

“Then in order to get a second vote, a People’s Vote, we have to work cross-party in order to get that.”

It gives me such hope that we are on the cusp of reversing Brexit and all the calamity that it represents Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton

Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray called the UK Government’s stance on Brexit “completely wrong”.

He said: “It’s the second rally in two days in Edinburgh where thousands of people have turned up to make their voices heard.

“This is democratic change in action. What we’re trying to say to the UK Government is that their stance on Brexit’s completely wrong and that what we demand is that for these people that are marching today and for everyone across the United Kingdom, to get a final say referendum so that they can have their view on whether or not to remain in the European Union or back the Prime Minister’s deal.

“That’s why we’re all here, we’re all championing that and we’re all fighting for it both on the streets and in Parliament.”

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Protestors during the March to Remain in the EU for Peace and Climate Action in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said that his party would revoke Article 50 in the event of winning a majority at a General Election.

“I’ve been marching in these demos now for three years and that just shows how far this movement’s come,” said Mr Cole-Hamilton.

“We thought we’d be crashing out of the European Union in March and that didn’t happen, and the extensions have come and they’ve gone and we’re still in the European Union.

“It gives me such hope that we are on the cusp of reversing Brexit and all the calamity that it represents.

“We’re pushing hard, we need to keep up the momentum to get everybody’s voice heard to say that there is no better deal on the table than the one that we have as members of the European Union.”

He added: “The Liberal Democrats recognise that the coming General Election may be the last test of public will before we leave the European Union so we recognise that Boris Johnson is trying to make that a proxy for a People’s Vote.

“As such, we’ll present the people of this country with an alternative, that is, no Brexit, and that a majority Liberal Democrat government will revoke Article 50 as the first thing that we do.”

PA

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