Protesters cheer Commons defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal
There were muted cheers outside Parliament as Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal was rejected by MPs.
Crowds of protesters on both sides of the Brexit divide had gathered on College Green throughout the day to await the outcome of the vote.
But many of them had left by the time the vote took place.
The majority of those present wanted to see Mrs May’s deal voted down.
A group of “gilets jaunes” protesters chanted “Bye bye EU, bye bye” to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, while pro-EU demonstrators sang “You can stick your Brexit up your arse”.
The exchange was peaceful, although police and security staff were present.
One group of Remain protesters kept up a steady racket with a bell and a bass drum they dubbed The Liberty Bell with the words Save Our Sovereignty above it.
Brexiteer David Hurlibut, 62, from Ipswich, said: “It’s not being true to the referendum. We may as well stay in the EU.”
Remainer John Wilkins, 64, from Crediton in Devon, also wanted to see the deal blocked.
“The Government hasn’t managed to find a solution to the Irish border and no one is happy with the agreement,” he said.
Remainer Tony Singh, 53, said: “No one will support a trade deal that’s detrimental to the interest of the UK.”
In nearby Parliament Square a platform and two screens were set up by those campaigning for a people’s vote.
A float with a sculpture of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and David Davis with the words “Brexit is a monstrosity” circled the area.
The demonstrations ahead of the vote were calm, although a small number of “gilets jaunes” protesters verbally abused police, calling them “EU Police” and “EU fascists”.