A city between goodbye torment and Brexit party

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Europeans here, nationalists there. Wistfulness and tears here cheers and triumph there. Out and about on Brexit evening in London – the city that had voted against leaving.

The arches under Tower Bridge are illuminated in blue, the lights in front of City Hall, London City Hall, also shine blue: the colour of Europe, and today also the colour of the protest. Hundreds of people are standing in line in front of the mayor’s official seat to show their solidarity with Europe – and above all with EU citizens – just a few hours before Brexit.

“London Is Open” is the name of the event to which London Mayor Sadiq Khan has invited. The flags of Europe are attached to the railing of the long ramp, which swings down in a circle into the hall of the town hall. A large map of the capital is emblazoned on the ground in the middle.

Many of the people who come here speak English with a French, Spanish or German accent. The audience is mixed, just like the city. “We are all Londoners” is written on the wall in large letters. Around one million EU citizens live in the British capital, the importance of immigration for the booming economy and culture of London was one of the main reasons why the metropolis voted so clearly for staying in the EU. In Southwark, the district in which the town hall is located, there were 72 percent remain votes.

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