Pro-Brexit UK lawmakers protest EU anthem at European parliament

Pro-Brexit UK lawmakers protest EU anthem at European parliament
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The first day of European Parliament kicked off Tuesday with acts of protest by UK members of varying political views. 

Brexit Party MEPs stood and turned their backs as the European Union anthem played at the parliament’s summit, according to the BBC. 


The party, whose members support the UK leaving the EU, faced away from the front of the room during Ode to Joy, as seen in a video shared by the BBC on Twitter. 

Parliament president Antonio Tajani criticized the MEPs’ protest, saying, “You stand for the anthem of another country.”

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage praised his members, saying the move was “cheerfully defiant.” When Farage led the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in 2014, the party’s MEPs performed a similar demonstration. 

By contrast, the pro-EU Liberal Democrat members wore bright yellow shirts that said “Stop Brexit” on the front and “Bollocks to Brexit” on the back.

The demonstrations come weeks after the May elections, in which both the Brexit Party and Liberal Democrats gained seats. 

European Parliament members gathered in Brussels to decide who should get top jobs, and have yet to reach an agreement, according to BBC.

Brexit talks have been ongoing for more than three years, since pro-Brexit voters won in a referendum in June 2016 under the leadership of Prime Minister David Cameron who stepped down following the vote. 

He was succeeded by Prime Minister , who recently stepped down amid failed negotiations.

The UK is facing an October 31 deadline to leave the EU, but Brexit talks have lost further momentum as the Conservative Party searches for a new leader. The 160,000 Conservative Party members will vote next week to choose between two candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson

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