"WHEN we become an independent country all of our major events are going to be in June!"

Those were the words of Lesley Riddoch as she addressed hundreds of pro-EU Scots gathered in the rain to mark the third anniversary of Brexit

A torchlit procession made its way down the Galloping Glen of Holyrood Park to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on a wet, windy and undeniably dreich January evening. 

However, spirits were not dampened by the inclement weather as pipers played, Saltires waved and lights of all shapes and sizes brightened the night. 

The rally, organised by Time for Scotland, reasserted the desire for Scotland to be a member of the European Union and asked representatives in Brussels to "keep a light on." 

It was part of a series of protests being held across Scotland.  

After introductory remarks from Riddoch, Green MSP Lorna Slater was first to address the crowd. 

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She said membership of the EU would always be at the heart of the vision for an independent Scotland.

"Tonight's event is about light," she said. "But January 31, 2020 was a dark day for democracy. It showed how little the views of the people of Scotland matter to Westminster. And that has only got worse. 

"The reality is that Brexit was always based on a series of mistruths and lies. It was the action of a xenophobic and extreme Tory government that has always wanted to rip up workers' rights, environmental standards and our right to work, live and travel where we please. 

"People in Scotland saw through the lies. We saw how disastrous Brexit would be, which is why we voted overwhelmingly against it.

"Everything that we warned would happen has happened. We have seen an unrelenting campaign against Scottish democracy and environmental standards. 

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"The longer Brexit endures, the harder it will be to reverse. This is why our independence is so essential and why our place in Europe will always be at the heart of our vision for a fairer, greener and better Scotland." 

SNP MP and former MEP Alyn Smith was next to take the stage.

Smith coined the phrase "leave a light on for Scotland" during an emotional speech to the European Parliament in 2019. 

"It's fantastic to see so many passionate and committed Europeans in this crowd tonight. 

"It's three years since we left the European Union against our democratic will in Scotland.

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"And what have we got to say for it? We're so much poorer, the UK is diminished, Scotland is diminished, the EU is diminished. 

"It's the only negotiation in human history where everybody came off worse. 

"I'm still angry about where we are right now. I don't want to talk about Brexit anymore. 

"And I'll make a promise tonight: I'm not going to talk about Brexit anymore. 

"I want to talk about the future; I want to talk about the solution; I want to talk about the answer. And that's independence in Europe."