EDINBURGH, Scotland: A pro-EU rally was attended by thousands in Edinburgh on Wednesday evening outside the Scottish Parliament (see video below).
The demonstration, organised by the Young European Movement (YEM) Edinburgh, comes less than a week after the UK voted to leave the European Union, 52% to 48%.
The fallout of the Brexit vote has been swift and ongoing, with the pound hitting a 31-year low against the dollar and Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation sparking a leadership contest among the governing Conservative party.
To begin the formal process of leaving the EU Britain must trigger Article 50, which will give it two years to negotiate its withdrawal.
However, the PM has left responsibility for that move on his successor, and with growing clamours for opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to leave, as well as senior figures in the Leave camp backtracking on key campaign pledges – it seems the Westminster political classes are happy to leave the public waiting in uncertainly for Brexit get underway.
In Scotland however, the response to last Friday’s vote has been more immediate, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling the vote “democratically unacceptable” following Scotland’s majority to remain in the EU.
Sturgeon was in Brussels on Wednesday to explore Scotland’s options, a day after receiving the backing of the Scottish Parliament to carry out direct EU talks.
YEM Edinburgh representative Johnney Rhodes, speaking before the event, said the moves taken by the first minister and the Scottish Parliament were “positive”.
“I support every move that helps preserve the European future for our generation, every generation, the generations to come,” he said.
“We will not be quiet about this. We will not sit down and let things be taken without our say.
“We have chosen to be Europeans and will do whatever it takes to stay Europeans.”