POLICE, protesters and a carpet ban on milkshakes were all in place on Friday night for the arrival of Nigel Farage at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh.

The sky was dull and one would be forgiven for expecting that the attendees of the Brexit Party rally in the Scottish capital would resemble the 49 remaining shades of grey.

READ MORE: Brexit Party's Scottish poster campaign thwarted by SNP councillor

The Sunday National’s attempts to contact the event organisers in advance came to naught. Our emails were left unanswered and without accreditation there was no way those policing the door would let us in.

“I’m sure you can understand,” said the heavy-set party representative, who, very politely, refused to budge. And in a way, it was understandable. A rag-tag collection of protesters gathered outside and had robustly challenged the people making their way into the event.

The National:

A police officer at the scene told the Sunday National that the Brexit Party claimed to have “sold 1000 tickets,” but that she estimated only “350 or so” people were inside the venue.

On Twitter, users shared an image of a sign from a local McDonalds declaring that milkshakes and ice creams were not for sale. It is understood the decision was made after a request by Police Scotland, presumably in response to dairy-based salvos unleashed upon Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, and other far-right activists.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour and Tories face being wiped off map in EU election

The counter-protest, clearly disorganised and only a hundred strong, began to disperse around 7pm, when the event had been billed to start.

Beth Cameron, 46, was one of the protesters. “I’m here because I fundamentally disagree with Nigel Farage and everything he stands for and Brexit,” she said. ‘‘I think he holds xenophobic views and he is a greedy individual. He is not transparent. He is the sort of man who whips people into a frenzy.

“Watching the people coming in, I wasn’t convinced they were locals. I have no idea who he speaks to. It looked to me to be predominately white middle-aged men.

The National:

‘‘I was surprised though to see some young people and women. There was an air of arrogance from some of them. There were some exchanges between the groups. I saw a woman with a Make America Great Again hat on.”

Fanny, 19, is a student from France, studying in Edinburgh. “I feel attacked by them personally,” she said. “I am a European citizen here in the UK and I am gay.

‘‘Nigel Farage brings explicitly racist politics. It is important to show up to these events to make sure they are not normalised. I think we need to keep up the pro-EU sentiment here. There was a lot of tweed on the people coming in but there were some young people, which was worrying.”

READ MORE: Nigel Farage says Scottish independence is 'most dishonest political discourse in the world'

Local man Bob Murray, speaking over protesters who were leading a chorus of “f**k off terf” before being calmed down by police, said that it was important for people to keep up the pressure on Farage.

“I don’t mind people being for Brexit ... I would not demonstrate against them – but I am demonstrating against Nigel Farage. He has a history of bad news and buffoonery.

“What struck me with the crowd was that it was fairly mixed. I find it worrying that anyone gets taken in by Farage. He is a bandwagon jumper. If they do get a foothold in Scotland, it will be at the bottom of the barrel.”

It was unclear how long the event itself lasted. The Sunday National found attendees filing out towards a nearby supermarket car park at around 7.45pm.

Some refused to speak, but those who did stop were a mixed spread of people who were unashamed to talk of their support for the party.

Matthew, 15, from Monteith, attended the event with his father, who carried Brexit Party placards under one arm. He cheerfully encouraged his son to discuss the night.

“I went to gain information and see people I know about and get some poster boards. I like the idea of exiting the EU and keeping democracy – also keeping Britain strong and united,” he said. “I want to keep Britain united for when I am old and when I am working. I want Britain to be controlled by itself. Nigel Farage will be strong and I think he’d do a good job as PM.”

The National:

Jason Cooke, originally from the US but living in the Borders for almost 30 years, said: “The whole event was very positive. The candidates are from business, law, a professor – quite a few backgrounds. Nigel came on last to wrap it up. He got a very good response.

“I’m no economist but I’m not afraid. I’m optimistic. I think its crazy for a country that ruled the world once to be afraid to stand on its own two feet again. We are all democrats.”

Cooke’s wife, who asked not be named, said that “she chose to come along and make a donation”.

“You didn’t have to be a party member to come tonight. Farage is getting his money from people who are angry.”

“I class myself as a moderate. I expected to see a lot of sentiment tonight which veered towards the right but there was none of that. I was petrified going in, but there was nothing like that inside,” she said.

Farage used his rare trip north to Scotland to appeal to SNP voters.

“If you’re genuinely a nationalist lend your vote to the Brexit party, let’s get out of the EU and then have an honest debate about independence,” he told the crowd.

He told journalists that “the impression that’s often given by Nicola Sturgeon is that almost everybody in Scotland thinks the European Union is a fantastic idea, when the reality is that 30% of her own voters, because they are actually genuinely nationalists, voted to leave the EU.”

“You cannot be independent if you’re in the EU’s customs union and single market. You cannot be independent if you’re governed by Monsieur Barnier and Mr Juncker.”

Speaking at the SNP’s manifesto launch earlier on Friday, Nicola Sturgeon was quizzed on the potential of a Tory-Brexit Party pact.

“Senior Tories are now openly calling for an electoral pact at the next Westminster election with Nigel Farage,” she said.

“Even a few months ago the idea of a Boris Johnson premiership, supported by Nigel Farage, would have been dismissed as a joke.

“It is no longer funny. It is a deadly serious possibility and for Scotland it would be a nightmare.”

The First Minister later added: “I am not thinking about Nigel Farage. I am not going to waste time putting forward an effective opposition by thinking about him.”