PRO-EUROPEAN citizens in Oxford will gather to show support for EU nations as Britain gets ready for Brexit.

However one leading Brexiteer has branded their plans 'rather sad'.

Next Friday, January 31, the UK will leave the European Union – more than three years after the country voted narrowly in favour of Leave in a referendum in 2016.

Oxford's pro-European organisations – Oxford for Europe, Oxford European Association and European Movement (Oxford Region) – say the decision to leave the EU is 'very much against the will of the people of Oxford' and will be marking the event with candlelit vigils and a meeting to celebrate nearly 50 years of membership of the EU.

Then croissants will be handed out on Cornmarket and the EU flag will be flown from the town hall.

According to Oxford for Europe, pro-European Oxford citizens of all nationalities who have campaigned, marched and worked over the past few years to keep the country in the EU will gather to 'look back and celebrate the great benefits membership of the EU has brought to the UK'.

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Oxford for Europe spokesman Colin Gordon said: "Across the country there will be people who are happy and will celebrate Brexit.

"In Oxford itself, the Remain vote was about 70 per cent so we want to reflect that.

"We are affirming that we will remain a friendly city for our European neighbours, including the twin cities of Bonn, Grenoble and Leiden.

Oxford Mail:

"We want the light from Oxford to be a sign of our hopes for the future as a genuinely international city."

Next Friday's events will start with the vigil on the steps of the town hall in St Aldate's at 6.45pm.

Between 7.30pm and 9.30pm a public Proud to be European meeting in the town hall will be opened by Lord Mayor Craig Simmons.

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Oxford East Labour MP Anneliese Dodds, a former MEP, is expected to attend with Oxford West and Abingdon's Lib Dem MP Layla Moran.

MEPs for the region in the European Parliament have also been invited, with EU citizens who live and work in the city and county, along with many other community leaders.

At 10.45pm people will gather in Bonn Square for a final vigil by torchlight at 11pm.

Oxford Mail:

The following day a street stall in Cornmarket will offer croissants and the city council will be flying the EU flag over the town hall throughout the weekend.

During the first week of February, twin city Grenoble will be flying the Oxford flag and the town hall will fly the Grenoble flag.

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City councillor John Tanner said: “We are proud to be Europeans. We say a big 'thank you' to the European Union.

"We must now stand by all our European fellow citizens, in Oxford and our region.”

Oxford East Brexit Party candidate Roger Carter said he thought the planned vigils were 'rather sad'.

He added: "Brexit is Brexit - we are leaving the EU. We are restoring democracy and setting our own rules and laws rather than being a law taker.

Oxford Mail:

"There is nothing in that that breaks links with EU citizens and countries - the twinning links that have existed for decades will continue."

Seats for the meeting can be booked at or via Oxford for Europe's page on Facebook. Admission is free, and people are advised to book soon.

Oxford for Europe said similar local events were being held across the country.

Since the 2016 referendum, the group has organised numerous public events and street stalls and backed national campaigns and marches.

Oxford Mail:

It has more than 700 newsletter subscribers, 5,500 followers on Facebook and 3,000 followers on Twitter.

In March people from Oxfordshire attended a Put It To The People march in London calling for a second referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

It came after a petition to revoke Article 50 – the trigger for Britain leaving the EU – was signed by thousands of voters in the county.

Protesters from the county visited the capital once again in October for the People's Vote march.