Thousands to join Brexit protests outside UK parliament in London

A pro-Brexit protester draped in a Union flag, holds out a placard to passing traffic outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on January 15, 2019. (AFP photo)

The British police are preparing for huge Brexit protests in London as thousand are expected to join the rallies that come concurrent with a vote in parliament on the government’s European Union withdrawal agreement.

The Evening Standard cited social media posts on Tuesday had shown that several thousand people will join separate marches for and against Brexit in Parliament Square as lawmakers prepare to vote on whether to back Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with the EU.

Giant screens were set to be erected in the area so that the protesters could watch the parliament debate and its final vote on the Brexit deal.

The protests come against the backdrop of violent clashes between opponents and supporters of Brexit on the streets of London and other large cities across the UK over the past days.

Police arrested four people, including a 13-year-old girl, in a first Brexit protest on January 5 in London where demonstrators donned yellow vests worn in recent weeks by fellow protesters in France.

Clashes were reported in a same yellow-vest protest last week with hundreds marching toward the Trafalgar Square in central London.

The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that it had preparations in place to cope with the protest outside the Palace of Westminster. The Met said the plans will be “appropriate and proportionate throughout the day”.

The Commons are set to conclude their debate on May’s Brexit deal on 9.00 am with a vote on two documents she signed in Brussels in November which outline Britain’s withdrawal terms as well as its future ties with the EU.

Many expect a crushing majority of lawmakers will reject May’s deal, forcing her to implement various scenarios, including a call for early elections or a decision to bring Britain out of the EU on March 29 in a disorderly manner.

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