Great Britain will be conducting a referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union on Thursday, and both sides have already pleaded their cases on why the country should either stay or leave the EU. UK celebrities have also expressed their own opinions on Brexit (Britain Exit). Here’s a list of who among David Beckham, JK Rowling, Jeremy Clarkson, Sir Michael Caine, Benedict Cumberbatch and Simon Cowell are voting in or out.
A celebrity endorsement could either help or hurt a cause, depending on who’s endorsing and who’s listening. “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling’s pro-EU stance, for instance, can help educate and even persuade Potterheads to vote “remain” at the referendum.
The opposite can also happen or, as it is in some cases, the celebrities’ opinions do not affect a voter’s stance at all. Nevertheless, celebrities know that they have certain influence on their fans, and therefore would use that to sway them to their agenda.
That is why some celebrities have made their views in the Brexit debate known through their social media pages, interviews or YouTube videos. Former “Top Gear” hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May posted a video for Britain Stronger in Europe to ask fans to vote “remain.” Keira Knightley, Lily Cole, Sir Richard Branson and Stephen Hawking also recorded videos on the side of EU stay.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” star Daisy Ridley is against Brexit, as well as the UK power couple David and Victoria Beckham and talent show mogul Simon Cowell.
Almost 300 actors, artists, fashion designers, musicians, novelists and filmmakers have signed a letter to support Britain’s stay in the EU. These 282 personalities said that Britain is stronger in Europe, and the country’s exit from the union would weaken the entertainment industry.
These personalities include Sir Patrick Stewart, Jamie Bell, Bill Nighy and Steve McQueen. The full text of the letter and the list of name are in this link.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) June 14, 2016
In response to the @leave.eu campaign who have today tried to put a spin on quotes made 20 years ago about keeping or losing the pound, I have to say strongly my comments were not about this referendum and should not be misused in this way! I believe in my country, I believe in a future for my children where we are stronger together and I support the #remain campaign. @strongerineurope
A photo posted by Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) on Jun 21, 2016 at 3:14am PDT
A photo posted by @daisyridley on Jun 7, 2016 at 6:52am PDT
For the pro-Brexit side, The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, comedian John Cleese, soap opera legend Joan Collins and controversial TV personality Katie Hopkins have all expressed their positions, saying it is more detrimental for Britain to remain.
“The only way we’re going to get the Europe that we want is to get rid of this bunch of f------ useless w------ that are running it,” Daltrey said in an interview with The Sun.
If I thought there was any chance of major reform in the EU,I'd vote to stay in.But there isn't.Sad.Sorry,Paddy.
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) June 11, 2016
Brexit _______❤ ️
— Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) February 24, 2016
Next time you hear someone say we are safer IN the EU - remember Brussels. Seen as the heart of Europe, it is now jihadi central. #brexit
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) March 22, 2016
In the political arena, world leaders and political figures are also divided on Brexit. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently warned that a Brexit would have strong implications on the global market, but he refused to clarify his position on the subject.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau want Britain to remain. On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US presidential candidate Donald Trump want Brexit to happen.
Here are the partial lists of famous personalities opting to remain or exit the EU.
Stay in the EU
Dame Kristine Scott Thomas
Dame Vivienne Westwood
David and Victoria Beckham
Helena Bonham Carter
Lord Alan Sugar
Sir Elton John
Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Richard Branson
Sir Michael Caine