This week the United Kingdom will vote whether or not to stay in the European Union. In the final days of campaigning, the referendum, commonly referred to as "Brexit," has led to divisive debate in the UK.
Most financial institutions say Britain’s exit could threaten the entirety of the global economy. International leaders in China, Japan, India, the European Union, and the United States have all called for Britain to stay in; President Barack Obama even said leaving would send the UK to "the back of the queue" on trade deals with the US, in a recent visit with UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron.
But even so, the arguments for leaving the EU have gained traction in recent weeks: Proponents of Britain’s exit argue the European Union costs strain the British economy, that the partnership is overly bureaucratic. Other supporters see the vote as a way to ward off excessive immigration.
But as British comedian John Oliver explained on his show Last Week Tonight, most of the arguments for leaving the European Union simply don’t hold up. If the UK wants to maintain a good trade relationship with the EU, for example, they’re likely to have to continue accepting free migration from Europe: "It’s not a Brexit so much as it is a Br-atus quo, or a Bro-meo stasis, or a conscious un-Broupling," Oliver said.
"Immigration policy may not change, hysteria over regulation is a red herring, the costs of membership are reasonable, and economic benefits of staying appear to outweigh the costs, yet polls suggest my homeland is on the edge of doing something insane," Oliver said Sunday night.
But with all that said, "it is perfectly understandable to be annoyed at Europe," Oliver joked. He just argued that voting itself out of the EU is the wrong way for the UK to express that irritation. Instead, Oliver suggested a new, profane anthem for the EU, complete with the line "We are the United Kingdom / You can eat our spotted dicks."
"It’s a complicated, bureaucratic, ambitious, overbearing, inspirational, and consistently irritating institution, and Britain would be absolutely crazy to leave it," Oliver said. "Especially because if it stays, it can reap all the benefits while still be being a total dick about it, and that is the British way."