Zoe Lyons joins pro-EU protest on anniversary of EU referendum result

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Comedian Zoe Lyons addressed a crowd of 30 protesters in Hove today to commemorate a year since the vote to leave the European Union.

The demonstrators, from the ‘Brighton and Hove for Europe’ group, braved treacherous conditions to object to the Government’s plans for a so-called hard Brexit.

Ms Lyons said: “As a comedian, I travel around the country an awful lot and there are so many people around this fine land of ours that still feel incredibly European.”

She also took the time to lighten the mood and said: “Despite feeling terribly European myself, it seems today that the weather is decidedly British.”

Negotiations for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union began this week, with Prime Minister Theresa May proposing that EU citizens who have lived in the UK for at least five years would be granted ‘UK settled status’, which would allow them to stay in the country and have continued access to education, healthcare and other benefits.

However, the suggestion has been described as inadequate by EU leaders, with President of the European Council Donald Tusk describing the offer as “below our expectations”.

Petra Kopp, one of the organisers of the protest, said: “I still want to be in the European Union and the fight isn’t over. The fight is only just beginning. Negotiations are only just starting and already the cracks are beginning to appear.

She added: “I’m German, so for me what’s happening at the moment around European citizens’ rights is a huge thing. I’ve lived here for 35 years. This is my home and Theresa May is making supposedly a generous offer but it isn’t generous at all.”

52% of voters supported withdrawal from the European Union in the referendum last year.

The UK will officially leave in March 2019, two years after Article 50, the mechanism for withdrawal, was invoked.

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