This Thursday, the United Kingdom will hold a referendum to decide whether or not to support Brexit, a motion to remove the country from the European Union - a bloc of 26 countries that negotiate European policies involving trade, foreign affairs and other issues. The outcome of the referendum could impact your life, according to John Oliver.
"If you're watching this outside the U.K.," Oliver noted on the latest episode of Last Week Tonight. "You're probably thinking, 'Why should I care what Britain does with the E.U.? Honestly, as long as those crooked-tooth scone goblins keep shooting out royal babies and episodes of Doctor Who, I don't give a tally-ho fuck what happens there."
But he says the Brexit could have devastating effects on the world economy by destabilizing the global market. And that should be very concerning because, according to Oliver, the push to leave the union is backed by misinformation and bigotry.
Supporters of leaving the E.U. have released a documentary called Brexit:The Movie, which alleges that the union forces the U.K. to follow 109 regulations involved in making pillows. That would be onerous for manufacturers, but Oliver's researchers found that most of the rules mentioned in the documentary had nothing to do with pillows other than using the word. One involved cereal shaped like pillows, and another described "pillow ball joints" used in the automotive industry.
Even more worrisome is Brexit's popularity among politicians who are outspokenly racist. One of the main backers, Oliver says, is the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), whose members have been criticized for saying things like, "The only people I do have problems with are negroes. And I don't know why." Those words resulted in Rozanne Duncan's expulsion from the party, but leader Nigel Farage has defended others who have openly used racial slurs.
And beyond those concerns, there's reason to believe that exiting the E.U. won't do fulfil the goal of helping the U.K. save money. Check out the video below for Oliver's explanation.
h/t The Guardian