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Thousands of Brexit Protesters March in London on Referendum Anniversary

Tens of thousands of Britons opposed to the country’s withdrawal from the European Union marched through the streets of London on Saturday to demand a vote on the final Brexit deal.

The protesters waved the blue and gold flag of the European Union under sunny skies to mark the second anniversary of the referendum that was decided in favor of Brexit.

Britain is set leave the European Union in March 2019. But the government plans to give Parliament a vote on the final deal — if one is reached with the European Union — later this year.

Caroline Lucas, a parliament member and co-leader of the Green Party, said at the demonstration that she rejected the government’s “vision of a mean-minded little Britain” and citizens should have the right to vote on any deal.

“I believe that Brexit will be a disaster for this country,” she told a cheering crowd. “I want to say that given the overwhelming evidence that it would make all of us poorer in so many ways, it is our patriotic duty to do everything we can to secure a people’s vote.”

A group called People’s Vote organized the march, saying it was meant to ensure that those who will be affected by the Brexit negotiations for generations to come can vote on the final deal.

Officials estimated the turnout in the tens of thousands while organizers said it was at least 100,000.

Brexit supporters held their own rally elsewhere in the city, but their march drew a much smaller crowd, according to the BBC which said it numbered in the hundreds.

The 2016 referendum saw 52 percent vote in favor of leaving the European Union.

But the years since have been politically fraught as the government has struggled to agree on a plan for the path forward. Earlier this week, Parliament passed a bill that partly paved the way for Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May called it an important step in making the change a reality.

The decision showed that “the elected representatives in this country are getting on with the job, and delivering on the will of the British people,” Mrs. May said after the vote.

It was “an important step in delivering the Brexit people voted for, a Brexit that gives Britain a brighter future, a Britain in control of its money, laws and borders.”

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