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Tens of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters march in London

The march went past Downing Street — where demonstrators shouted ‘Shame on you’ aimed at outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron.

Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people marched through London today, waving European flags and chanting ‘We love you EU’ to voice their opposition to Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.

The march went past Downing Street — where demonstrators shouted ‘Shame on you’ aimed at outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the referendum — before ending up at parliament.

Breverse, The Leave Campaign Lied, Save our Future and Never Gonna Give EU up, were among the colourful banners on display, the latter referring to the 1980s hit by pop star Rick Astley.

Organisers said over 40,000 took part, but police did not give figures.

“I think the Leave campaign misled people, we are [making] a wrong decision because of the lies,” protestor Casey (37) told AFP.

“Baguettes not regrets,” others chanted along the route.

Second referendum urged 

In a move that stunned Europe, Britons voted 52% in favour of withdrawing from the EU bloc with 48% against, with many citing immigration concerns as the reason to leave.

The narrow victory has triggered anger in Britain among those who wanted to remain in the EU and more than four million people have signed a petition calling for another referendum.

“There must be a second referendum. Everybody knows that if there is … we’ll vote to stay,” former television producer Nicholas Light (82) said at the march.

eu Source: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The seismic 23 June vote prompted the resignation of Cameron — who called the referendum in a bid to decide the long-contentious issue once and for all, but backed the failed Remain campaign.

It also unleashed a bitter leadership battle in the ruling Conservative party and chaos in the main opposition Labour party, whose leader Jeremy Corbyn is now facing all-out revolt.

The favourites to succeed Cameron have meanwhile been pushing for a delay in starting the process that will eventually see Britain leave the 28-member EU.

Frontrunner Theresa May and high-profile rival Michael Gove have both said they do not expect Article 50 — the formal procedure for leaving the bloc — would be invoked this year.

EU leaders have urged a swift divorce, fearful of the impact of Britain’s uncertain future on economic growth and a potential domino effect in eurosceptic member states.

Markets turmoil

Last week’s shock vote plunged financial markets into crisis, wiping trillions off equities around the world and sending the pound to its lowest point against the dollar in more than three decades.

The Bank of England has said it could slash interest rates this summer to counter the downbeat economic outlook.

Finance Minister George Osborne has warned the government would abandon its promise to achieve a budget surplus by 2020, sparking forecasts of more spending cutbacks and tax hikes.

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The vote over the EU laid bare serious divisions in Britain.

eu2 Source: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Younger voters — many of whom worried about their right to travel and work in the EU — mainly voted to remain while their Baby Boomer elders were likelier to vote Leave.

Voters in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the capital London backed remaining, while those who chose to leave were largely from less affluent areas in England and Wales.

The Scottish vote has re-ignited the debate over independence there.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon went to Brussels on Wednesday to press Scotland’s desire to remain part of the EU, and said a second independence referendum is now “on the table,” after voters voted No in 2014.

A poll for BBC’s Newsnight programme found that 16% of voters think Britain will stay in the bloc, and 22% said they do not know if it will leave.

© AFP 2016

Read: How did Nigel Farage become so powerful?

Read: ‘We don’t know what our futures will hold’ – a multicultural family reacts to the Brexit vote

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