Thousands of protesters share their reasons for why they "love EU"

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Thousands of people have stood together in central London to protest against plans to leave the European Union - and have their say on why they think we should celebrate Europe.

Demonstrators gathered wearing EU flags as capes - or painting their faces blue to match it - brandishing baguettes and waving homemade banners bearing messages of "Bremain" and "We Love EU" to share their various reasons for marching against Brexit.

A woman with the flag of the European Union painted on her face
(Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Even though Marie Sansford, 66, from Brighton, said she was against joining the European Union in the 1970s, she voiced her concerns about what leaving could mean for the UK of tomorrow.

She said: "I feared that joining the EU would allow global companies to take over, which has happened to an extent. But being in the EU we can group together with other countries, be friends with our neighbours. I don't want to see the whole of Europe fall apart. I'm just very worried for future generations."

Remain supporters gather in London
(Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

William Dramard, 36, moved to Manchester from France 16 years ago. A homemade placard represented his French roots, his Finnish wife, their English bull mastiff dog and the European Union.

The engineer, who travelled to London alone for Saturday's rally, said: "My family exists thanks to the EU. One of the reasons my wife and I came here was because of freedom of movement. We met here and started our life together here. This is what we consider to be our home now."

Remain supporters gather in London
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

Many people from Northern Ireland joined the protest.

Genevieve Parke, 34, who lives in London but is originally from Fermanagh, close to the border in Northern Ireland, said: "Leaving the EU will have a polarising effect on communities at home again. I don't want to go back to a border with guns and checkpoints. That will bring back a lot of horrible memories for people, if nothing else."

Remain supporters gather in London. /><figcaption>(Jonathan Brady/PA)</figcaption></figure></p><p>And then there was the voice of young people, such as 14-year-old Mathilda Fell.</p><p>The budding human rights lawyer, who fears her dreams of studying at university in Belgium or Holland might be thwarted by an EU exit, said:
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

And then there was the voice of young people, such as 14-year-old Mathilda Fell.

The budding human rights lawyer, who fears her dreams of studying at university in Belgium or Holland might be thwarted by an EU exit, said: "I feel really let down that my voice, and the voice of young people, hasn't been heard in the referendum. It's my future that's going to be affected."

Remain supporters gather in London
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

The event was organised through social media by Mark Thomas in response to his "anger, frustration and need to do something" following the result of the EU referendum - in which just over half of the UK opted to leave.

The March for Europe supporters launched into an impromptu rendition of John Lennon's Imagine, led by a man in the centre of the crowd with an EU flag painted on his forehead, armed with a megaphone and bouncing on a friend's shoulders.

A huge cheer was let out as the march began and headed for Parliament Square.