- YouTube screenshot
John Oliver has done the Brexit thing.
The “Last Week Tonight” host on Sunday broke down the referendum set for Thursday that will see British citizens vote on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union.
Oliver spent most of the 15-minute segment making the case that a Leave vote is, well, not exactly what those campaigning to leave have made it seem.
For example, Oliver questions the assertion of Boris Johnson, the former London mayor, that EU membership costs the UK £350 million ($512 million) a week.
That claim has already been debunked – the UK gets a £100 million rebate each week, and £85 million of the remaining gets spent in the UK, according to iTV. But Oliver calls Johnson “a man with both the look and economic insight of Bam Bam from ‘The Flintstones.'”
Oliver then suggested a counter to Johnson’s campaign tactic of driving around London in a bus with the £350 million figure posted on the side:
- YouTube screenshot
This is all a way of saying, in Oliver’s view, that the “serious” arguments made by the Leave camp aren’t all that serious.
Oliver noted that many of the major international economic commentators – groups like the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Bank of England – had warned on the consequences of a Leave vote. He also shredded the anti-immigrant and sometimes racist bent that has been taken by many in the UK Independence Party, known as UKIP.
Oliver added that ranting against the EU – and, really, the whole of Europe – is a fundamentally British thing to do.
But this, in his view, is not a good reason to try to leave the European Union altogether.
“But this is how I feel about the EU,” Oliver said. “It’s a complicated, bureaucratic, ambitious, overbearing, inspirational, and consistently irritating institution – and Britain would be absolutely crazy to leave it. Especially because if it stays, it can reap all the benefits while still being a total d— about everything, and that is the British way.”
After the Remain camp caught a bit of momentum last week, new polls over the weekend showed the Remain camp regaining some ground in the polls.
On Monday, the British pound was rallying, stocks were rallying, and markets that had long believed the Remain camp would win began to regain considerable confidence their long-held view would come to pass.