Thousands interested in Dutch idea for Brexit beach party

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — As the deadline for Britain to quit the European Union approaches, thousands of people are expressing interest in a Brexit beach party in the Netherlands to say a fond farewell.

By Wednesday morning, nearly 10,000 people had signed up on Facebook to attend the proposed event that would allow people to sit in deck chairs looking out to sea as “Great Britain wakes up as a closed institution” while enjoying “Dutch chips, French wine and German beer.”

Another 63,000 have expressed interest in the Oct. 31 party at Wijk aan Zee, 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of Amsterdam.

The plan is the brainchild of documentary maker Ron Toekook, who is amazed by the attention it is garnering and now is in the process of trying to make sure it actually happens.

He got the idea from a vacation in Hawaii, when he saw people head to the beach, drinks in hand, to watch the sun set.

“I live near the beach and I thought it would be nice on Oct. 31 to go to the beach and … look over the ocean to the horizon where Great Britain is and then wave at the Brits and say farewell to good friends of ours,” Toekook said in a telephone interview.

He originally hoped that party would attract about 100 friends, but now the idea has gone viral he is starting serious work to make the beach party happen.

He’s already scouting locations at the beach and talking finances and on Thursday he has an appointment with the local mayor to talk about security.

The plan has gotten a mixed reception in Britain, with some negative reactions in newspaper comments sections, Toekook said, but he added that “a lot of Brits understand the tongue-in-cheek humor behind it all and they’re pretty positive,”

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