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Anti-EU British Lawmaker Quits Party Days Ahead of Brexit

  • VOA News

FILE - Douglas Carswell, then newly elected to Parliament as a member of the UK Independence Party, gives a double thumbs-up as he arrives to take his seat at the Houses of Parliament in London, Oct. 13, 2014. Carswell said March 25, 2017, that he's leaving UKIP and will serve in Parliament as an independent.

Britain's anti-European Union party has lost its only member of Parliament, four days ahead of the country's formal exit from the EU.

Douglas Carswell, the only MP in Britain's anti-immigration UK Independence Party, announced that he was leaving the party Saturday, writing in a blog post that he was departing "amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won."

Carswell said he was leaving the party feeling that Brexit was in "good hands" and that his work with the party was done, though this would not mark the end of his career as a lawmaker.

Carswell has long been at odds with the party's founder, Nigel Farage, who accused Carswell of being too soft on immigration.

Anti-Brexit campaigners carry flags and banners as they march toward Britain's Parliament in London, March 25, 2017. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to start the process of leaving the European Union on March 29.
Anti-Brexit campaigners carry flags and banners as they march toward Britain's Parliament in London, March 25, 2017. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to start the process of leaving the European Union on March 29.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of protesters marched Saturday in London against Brexit, Britain's formal departure from the European Union.

The "Unite for Europe" march held a moment of silence for the victims of Wednesday's attack on Parliament before marching on, carrying bright blue EU flags.

A few other anti-Brexit protests took place Saturday, including one in Edinburgh, Scotland, and one in Rome — outside of a meeting of EU nations commemorating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome. Britain's Theresa May did not attend the Rome meeting.

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