Eddie Izzard says second Brexit vote ‘inevitable’ as he collects honorary degree in York

Stand-up selfie: Eddie Izzard with York St John University graduates at York Minster. Photographs: Danny Lawson / PA Wire
20 Nov 2018 @ 7.27 pm
| Education

Comedian and activist Eddie Izzard said a second EU referendum is “inevitable” as “there’s a lot of angry people out there who want their future back” during a visit to York today.

Izzard, 56, was speaking as he picked up an honorary doctorate from York St John University in the “amazing” surrounding of York Minster.

The prominent Remain campaigner told the Press Association: “The European Union was set up to stop world wars and people have forgotten that.

“I think a lot people who voted Leave are now seeing how negative things have been going in the last two years, how difficult it is to smash everything up, and that we’re going to make people poorer in this country. So a second referendum, a People’s Vote, is inevitable.”

Izzard said: “There’s younger people coming up in the country and they can now vote and they want their future back. People want their future back.”

‘A lot of angry people’

‘People want their future back’: Izzard in York Minster

After picking up his Doctor of Letters degree in his formal robes, the comic said: “There’s a lot of angry people out there who want their future back.

“Reform the European Union, absolutely, but run-and-hide? We’re Brits, we don’t quit.

“Running and hiding, extreme right wing, the elite – Boris Johnson, the Rees-Moggs – these elite people, they just wanted to smash thing up and they had no plans. They never had any plans.

“We need to have a second referendum. We need to have a People’s Vote.”

Izzard said he received his degree – which he said his dyslexia led him to call his Doctorate of Lettuce – for his championing of language, having performed his comedy in French, German and Spanish.

‘Determination is key’

In his speech he told the graduates: “Now your life is ahead of you, determination will drive you in the right direction.

“Don’t worry if you fail; if you really want to do something you can get back up and go again.”

He was among several prominent people who received honorary degrees alongside York St John University graduates at the Minster.

Another was Professor Dianne Willcocks, the first vice chancellor of York St John.

Footballer Sue Smith, who scored 16 goals in 93 appearances playing for England, while also playing with Leeds United and Doncaster Rovers Belles, was another recipient.

She is now a pundit for the BBC and Sky Sports.

Fashion designer and founder of Boohoo Carol Kane was also in the Minster collecting an honorary degree.

Carol told the young audience: “Stay true to yourself, believe in yourself, and success will come through hard work and dedication.”