Skip to main content


In the run-up to Britain's referendum on European Union membership, politicians and celebrities alike are making their voices heard.

Here's what a few key figures have said throughout the campaign:


Boris Johnson, MP and former mayor of London, according to the BBC

Stefan Rousseau/PA Photo via AP

I think the prospects are win-win for all of us. And I think it’s time to ignore the pessimists and the merchants of gloom and to do a new deal that would be good for Britain and good for Europe.


David Cameron, British Prime Minister, during ITV's referendum debate

ADAM GRAY/AFP/Getty Images

It might give you the illusion of sovereignty to withdraw, on June 23rd, but you find out in area after area after area, things that affect our great country, we would have no say over... Sometimes it can drive me mad. It is a bureaucracy, it is frustrating, but I honestly believe walking away, quitting, would reduce our national influence, would reduce our economy, would reduce our say in the world and as a result would damage our country.


Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, during a speech in London

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

I think the risk of actually staying in the European Union is now quite great because we risk being trapped inside a failing club. A club that is wholly unsuited for Britain assuming its proper place on the global trading stage.


Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, in an interview with Reuters


More unity is a path toward greater prosperity. We have a great relationship with a strong and united Europe and certainly hope that that continues. … I believe we’re always better when we work as closely as possible together, and separatism, or division, doesn’t seem to be a productive path for countries.


Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, at a news conference

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Material slowdown in growth, notable increase in inflation. It is a judgment not based on a whim … it is the judgment of the independent MPC [Monetary Policy Committee] and it is the judgment of all members of the MPC. Of course there’s a range of possible scenarios around those directions, which could possibly include a technical recession.


Marine Le Pen, president of the National Front, told The Telegraph


Brexit would be marvellous – extraordinary – for all European peoples who long for freedom. … Objectively, it will be the beginning of the end of the European Union. I compare Brussels to the Berlin Wall. If Great Britain knocks down part of the wall, it’s finished, it’s over.


Jo Cox, British Labour MP who died after being shot and stabbed, wrote in her last letter in The Daily Mail


The overall benefits of EU membership are massive. From businesses in Yorkshire to the President of the United States – and pretty much everyone in between – there is an unprecedented consensus that leaving the EU would hurt our economy and hit our pockets. We cannot allow voters to fall for the spin that a vote to Leave is the only way to deal with concerns about immigration. We can do far more to address both the level and impact of immigration while remaining in the EU. I very rarely agree with the Prime Minister, but on this he’s right: We are stronger, safer and better-off in.


Christine Lagard, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, during a press conference at the Treasury in London

Rodrigo Abd/AP

Depending on what hypotheticals you take it’s going to be pretty bad to very, very bad. … We have looked very carefully at the whole range of existing opinions, calculations, modularizations, forecasts, scenario planning, and we have done our own homework, and frankly, in the very vast majority of what we have seen, we haven’t seen anything that is positive, it’s always been on the negative side.


Julian Fellows, Downton Abbey creator, told The Daily Mail

Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File

I believe we should be out. It’s about philosophy, it’s about democracy, it’s about democracy versus autocracy, all of those issues. … History has for hundreds of years been moving towards government that is answerable to the people and suddenly we have done an about-turn and we’ve gone back to the Austro-Hungarian empire. I don’t think that’s the right direction.


Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, during a news conference in Berlin


It is my experience that you will only get a good result in important negotiations if you are part of the negotiations from the inside and jointly contribute to the negotiations… It would be for the benefit of all of us, but I think also for the benefit of the UK to remain in the EU and to put the full force of being inside the EU into those negotiations.