Thousands Demonstrate in London Against Leaving the EU

Demonstrators hold a placard during an anti Brexit, pro-European Union (EU) march in London on March 25, 2017, ahead of the British government's planned triggering of Article 50 next week. Britain will launch the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, setting a historic and uncharted course to become the first country to withdraw from the bloc by March 2019. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrators hold a placard during an anti Brexit, pro-European Union (EU) march in London on March 25, 2017, ahead of the British government's planned triggering of Article 50 next week.
Britain will launch the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, setting a historic and uncharted course to become the first country to withdraw from the bloc by March 2019. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of people marched through London on Saturday to protest against Britain leaving the European Union, just four days before Prime Minister Theresa May launches the start of the formal divorce process from the bloc it joined 44 years ago.

The Unite for Europe march was due to end with a rally in Parliament Square, scene of this week's attack by British-born Islam convert Khalid Masood in which four people died.

Marchers observed a minute's silence in memory of the victims at the start of the demonstration.

In bright sunshine, they waved EU flags and banners with slogans like "So what's the Plan" and "Stop Brexit" as they made their way to parliament.

One banner from a marcher in Hastings on the south coast - scene of England's epoch-defining defeat to William, Duke of Normandy - read: "Hastings, in Europe since 1066."

Another simply said "Happy Birthday EU" in a reference to this weekend's 60th anniversary of the bloc's founding, currently being commemorated in Rome.

Joss Dennis was one of three coach loads of protesters who had traveled from Bristol in western England, which voted 62 percent to stay in the EU in last June's referendum compared with the national 52-48 percent vote to leave.

May has been adamant she intends to take Britain out of the EU following the referendum and will formally announce the start of the two-year leaving process on Wednesday.

*This article was originally published in Reuters


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