David Attenborough says people are 'fed up' with EU but refuses to say if he is a Brexiteer

‘There had to be a change, one way or another,’ says broadcaster

Adam Forrest
Wednesday 21 August 2019 13:05 BST
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Sir David Attenborough has said that many people are “fed up” with the European Union, and suggested a major political change like Brexit was inevitable.

The revered broadcaster said the EU may not have paid enough attention to member states’ concerns and had allowed itself to do things that “irritate” people.

Asked if he was more of a Brexiteer than a Remainer, Sir David said he believed “there had to be a change, one way or another” – but the naturalist declined to reveal how he voted in the 2016 referendum.

“I think that the irritation of the ways in which the European community has interfered with people’s lives on silly levels or silly issues has irritated a lot of people who don’t actually understand what the advantages and the disadvantages are,” he said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

“They’re just fed up with somebody over there who doesn’t speak their language, telling him how much money they’ve got to charge for tomatoes or something silly.”

Sir David added: “Now, maybe the European Union didn’t pay enough attention to what sort of things that members … care about and has allowed themselves to do all sorts of things which irritate the members.”

The broadcaster said he thought the British political system had got itself into an “absurd” mess and also referred to current Brexit disputes as “ridiculous”.

While South America and Africa are facing with “hideous” environmental problems, the UK and the rest of Europe were “occupied with these silly squabbles about Brexit”, he explained.

Sir David also expressed his concern at the risk of returning to the dark days of fascism in the 1930s and 1940s.

He suggested people were “losing reason” and “becoming enraged” and hoped they remembered “the lunacy that overtook Europe” during the period.

“We had German Jewish refugees living in our house throughout the war,” he said. “When I see mobs … mobs of people are a very, very ugly sight.”

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