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Eddie Izzard tells protestors to 'believe in hope' at March for Europe in Park Lane

International Business Times International Business Times 3/09/2016 William Watkinson

Comedian Eddie Izzard has told protestors to "believe in hope" during a March for Europe rally in London on Saturday (3 September).

The flamboyant TV celebrity dressed in a pink beret and high-heel addressed campaigners before they began marching from Park Lane to Westminster.

Eight nationwide rallies are demanding that the UK keeps close ties with the continent are taking place on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

People march on a pro-EU demonstration through the city centre of Bristol on September 3, 2016 in Bristol, England. A series of marches are taking place today in various cities by supporters of the UK remaining in the European Union ahead of a parliamentary debate about Brexit on Monday. © Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images People march on a pro-EU demonstration through the city centre of Bristol on September 3, 2016 in Bristol, England. A series of marches are taking place today in various cities by supporters of the UK remaining in the European Union ahead of a parliamentary debate about Brexit on Monday. Demonstrations in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge, have been organised hoping to demand a pause in the Brexit process.

The protesters, carrying EU and UK flags, placards and signs, want to keep tight economic, cultural, and social ties with the rest of Europe and halt the Government formally invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which triggers the two-year deadline to withdrawal from the EU.

Amongst the speakers are columnist Owen Jones, Labour's Chuka Umunna, co-leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas, as well as comedians Eddie Izzard and Josie Long.

EU results © Getty EU results A counter-protest is also set to take place with rival campaigners asking Prime Minister Teresa May to enact Article 50 immediately.

The pro-Europe campaigners met at Park Lane at 11am where Izzard addressed the crowd. He said: "We believe in hope. We need to put more hope into the world than despair and that's what the European Union was set up to do, it was set up to stop wars.

"If there are things wrong with it we need make it better, running and hiding was never going to work". The demonstrations are also calling for transparency in the process and greater public consultation on every stage of the Brexit negotiations.

The comedian, who identifies as transgender, also lambasted Ukip leader Nigel Farage for lying to the British public in the EU referendum, by claiming that the UK pays £330m a week to the EU, which would be pumped into the NHS after Brexit.

Also on 3 September British Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to the G20 summit in China for her first international conference since she entered Downing Street in July.

She has reportedly been given a key speaking slot on Sunday (4 September) where she is expected to say that the UK continues to be "consistent and dependable" following Brexit.

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