Edinburgh anti-Brexit protesters march to Scottish Parliament in torchlit procession for 'Lights On' rally
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Activists braved the rain to march from Pollock Halls, through Holyrood Park, to the Scottish Parliament for the torch-lit rally on Tuesday, which marked three years since the UK exited the EU.
Protesters were encouraged to bring a light with them, in recognition of a statement made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shortly after the end of the Brexit transition period in 2021, in which she she asked the EU to "keep the light on" for Scotland.
The Edinburgh rally was just one of several protests organised by Time For Scotland, with other events being held in tandem in Dunbar, Perth and Dundee. The pro-independence group also organised rallies in November when the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to call a referendum on independence without Westminster's approval.
Outside the Parliament, SNP MP Alyn Smith addressed the crowds of protesters. He asked: “Where’s the Brexit celebrations, where’s the happiness about all those freedoms we have won? Several years after the EU referendum, what have we got to say for it? It’s the only negotiation in human history where everybody came out worse at the end of it.”
Scottish Greens MSP Lorna Slater also spoke at the event, and said: “January 31 2020 was a dark day for democracy. It showed how little the views of the people of Scotland mattered to Westminster. The UK Government doesn’t want us to have our say. Brexit was always based on a series of mistruths and lies.”