UK Votes to 'Brexit' the EU: John Oliver Warned of 'Insane' Consequences

If you think the scariest thing about “Brexit” is the term itself, clearly you haven’t kept current with Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

On this past Sunday’s installment of HBO’s TCA-nominated late-night program, Oliver offered an in-depth, uniquely qualified look at the then-debate over whether Britain should leave the European Union, and the effects it would have on the world’s economy. The vote, which took place on Thursday, decided that Britain would indeed exit the EU. Since then, prime minister David Cameron has announced that he is stepping down from his post and the value of the British pound promptly slumped to a 31-year low.

“It’s hard for me to overstate how poisonous things have become in the UK,” Oliver said, before warning, “my homeland is on the edge of doing something absolutely insane.”

Though it’s too late for the comedian’s birthplace to reverse its allegedly “insane” vote, it’s not too late to watch this very informative explainer if you’re struggling to grasp what just happened.

Hit PLAY on the clip above to gain a better understanding on “Brexit” and its potential repercussions, then share your take in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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46 Comments
  1. David4 says:

    *Looks out the window*

    Where is the hell fire dammit!

    • peterwdawson says:

      Beloved pop culture icons dying, the mass slaughter of American citizens, fascism on the rise pretty much everywhere as the young seem more divided than ever against the old (not 100% young versus old but there’s a noticeable split), government officials being murdered and no one seeming to really care… Maybe we’re in the coldest circle of Hell.

      • Robin says:

        This political season in the US and now globally is the weirdest in recent history. I feel like I’m watching a horrible reality show where the last episode is going to determine if the US is going to give a rose to Trump!

        I wonder if I can telecommute while living in Canada?????

        • peterwdawson says:

          Nexus Pass, they’re great.

        • Angela says:

          If Trump becomes president in November, I’m going to scream. I’d like to believe the U.S. won’t do something that monumentally stupid, but…
          .
          As for this news, dang. I’m even more anxious for this Sunday’s episode of Oliver’s show now.

          • Pdiddily says:

            Hillary is as bad if not worse. It’s like choosing between a punch in the nuts and a kick in the nuts!

          • Angela says:

            There’s no way Hilary could be worse than Trump. She’s not my most ideal Democratic candidate, no, but she doesn’t scare me the way Trump does.

          • meme says:

            Hillary is not worse than Trump. She knows what’s going on in foreign countries, and how it effects the US. She’s not perfect, but no human is.

            A few days ago, Trump didn’t even know what Brexit was. Now he’s simultaneously saying he was for it and it’s good, and blaming Obama for it happening. Trump also said Brexit wouldn’t effect America, which shows he doesn’t follow the stock market, or realize that it effects 401Ks and pension funds invested in the stock market.

        • Christina says:

          Great analogy! What a terrifying finale this is going to be… None of this seems like real life!

      • A fan of TV says:

        There’s always Canada. Though it’s colder there than the coldest circle of hell in the middle of winter :)

        • Sarah says:

          And you can’t “just move” to Canada, any more that you can “just move” to the US. You can stay and not work for up to 6 months a year, but work visas are balls hard to get outside of certain industries under NAFTA… Which Trump wants to cancel. So strike another blow for freedom of movement OUT of the US as well as in…

        • peterwdawson says:

          Depends where you are. It rarely drops below minus 20 Celsius where I’m at, though it’s still plenty wet all winter.

          • A Fan of TV says:

            I’m actually on the West Coast, which never gets snow, so minus 20 or 40 w/ windchill is just a memory from my SW Ontario days growing up! But I love really bad, self-deprecating jokes too much to not make them, even if they’re not relevant!

  2. peterwdawson says:

    He could easily have gone a lot deeper, as beyond usual British disdain for the rest of Europe there is plenty to be said about the EU’s austerities, plus it’s dubious nature in terms of actually being democratic or not. That said, the economic, travel, trade, and educational hits the UK is/will take from this are pretty dang bad. May only be short term, but there’s a lot of wild cards in play now.

    • Sarah says:

      Exactly. As a Brit myself, I like other Europeans. I also enjoy visiting their beautiful countries. The problem here is not a hatred or disdain for other countries, it is the way the EU is run. Many, many other countries and people are disillusioned too. Europe is in a mess. Hopefully, this will give the EU the kick up the ass it needs to make the reforms necessary. Personally, I can’t believe this has happened. Thought there was as much chance as you having Trump as a presidential candidate. What a strange world we live in.

      • peterwdawson says:

        I feel the need to point out I’m Canadian. It was probably about as likely as a major city being consumed in flames, to look for our equivalent.

        • A fan of TV says:

          We all feel the need to point out were not Americans, Peter ;) It’s our inferiority complex!

          • peterwdawson says:

            Right now it’s probably a superiority complex.

          • Lucifer says:

            I definitely don’t think America is the greatest, I can’t say that I’d be proud to live in a country where the PM is an actor who is more concerned with “misogyny in entertainment” than learning how the budget works.

          • A Fan of TV says:

            Lucifer, you’re very entertaining, but don’t conflate a single acting job with being an ‘actor’ and don’t confuse an out of context, philosophical comment about economics with an inability or unwillingness to learn how a budget works. It just illustrates how little you’re actually paying attention to things going on outside your hyper-partisan right wing American bubble, and how easily you’ll believe the lying, hate-motivated Ezra Levants and Bill O’Reillys of the world. And it entertains me, which is probably the last thing you want to do!

          • A Fan of TV says:

            Peter, I address my feelings of inferiority with constant reminders of our superiority, so yes, it’s definitely a complex complex ;)

      • Mary says:

        Yes like Trump to kick the Republicans butt to make reforms, but unfortunately it backfires and the whole Country has to pay the price. Well time will tell but they might have opened a Pandora box and wish they hadn’t. Hopefully American will choose wisely.

        • meme says:

          Regular Americans will pay if they listen to Trump, because he will backfire even more than Brexit did to the UK.

          Trump has no real solutions. Building a wall is not only unfeasible, but there is no way he can make Mexico pay for it. A wall wouldn’t have any effect on the over 50% of illegal immigrants that come to the US by a route other than the Southern border. Banning Muslims by asking people if they are Muslim when they enter the country is silly, because a real terrorist will lie. And it doesn’t address the mass shootings in the US, which are being committed by Americans, not foreigners. Most of them are committed by people who aren’t Muslim. Trump, a man whose products are made in foreign countries, claims he can force private businesses to move their production to the US. He says if they don’t move he’s add a tariff, which won’t hurt the companies, but will only increase prices for hard-working Americans.

    • Rob Horine says:

      Yeah, cause you know, Freedom sucks.

      Why live with the uncertainty of freedom while you can live on your knees as a slave?

      • peterwdawson says:

        Ah, the old trading security for freedom argument. The problem is the UK traded their freedom for security, and got neither. Leaving the EU will deny freedom of education, freedom of trade, not really do anything to solve the immigration problem, and the greatest threat to their people was a guy who murdered a member of parliament in the street in favor of leaving the EU. Don’t get me wrong, the EU has all the trappings of a neoliberal nightmare with questionable democratic practices, but flipping the table in frustration and blaming it all on immigrants isn’t the answer.

      • A fan of TV says:

        Haha you go ahead and let me know how many Britons were slaves without names, human rights, or a paycheck for their jobs done. It shouldn’t take you long to count to zero.

  3. It’s horrifying and devastating. I’m in bits :(

    • Sarah says:

      Right there with you. I work in an industry (film & television) with short term contracts and employers who will not wait until you can get a visa unless you’re already a celebrity. Freedom of movement can make or break a career, and mine, along with thousands of other young people’s, just broke. Add that to sinking economic prospects and swelling bigotry and division in the UK, and life ain’t looking too awesome right now…

  4. BrianR says:

    Don’t care what a communist has to say about anything.

  5. E. D. Boddy says:

    What’s insane is that they ever decided to surrender their sovereignty to Brussels in the first place! And we’ve learned that calling people racist and xenophobes only gets you so far, electorally.

    • Dizzle says:

      We didn’t “surrender our sovereignty”.

      We were the least EU-regulated member state. We had instituted a record low number of the EU recommendations. We weren’t even part of the Schengen are that allows complete free movement (we still have passport border controls wherever you’re from).

      We became a member of the EU to avoid the poisonous global political atmosphere that could allow the two World Wars to happen. And now we’ve backed out – while not totally, but definitely in part – due to xenophobia and a misplaced emotive campaign that laid all our ills at the feet of a nebulous power centre the general public didn’t understand the point of.

    • Annie Sisk says:

      … I don’t think E.D. (bwahaha, sorry) understands how the EU works.

  6. Rob Horine says:

    Oliver is a idiot. These guys were better at the doom and gloom stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA1SxZoFmOU

  7. Grey says:

    As someone who watches John Oliver and knew about this…wouldnt it have been much better for you guys to have posted this BEFORE the vote instead of AFTER to educate the masses? Seriously

    • Shaun says:

      The vote came in a few hours after they closed I believe.

    • They could do on here, but it was banned in the UK, as any media coverage (TV i think, not papers) cannot be too biased, not that it has stopped others – Sky Atlantic couldn’t show the episode on their channel until Thursday 10pm BST at the earliest

    • meme says:

      This was banned from the UK before the vote, because apparently they thought it might sway voters. They claimed they would then have to give equal time to opposition views. I think that they should have shown it, and then let a comedian on the opposing present a comedic argument in favor of staying. More information is better than less, even if presented as comedy.

  8. Why is it that people consider comedians to be experts on public policy issues and give their opinion any significant weight?

    Agree with John Oliver, disagree with him, it doesn’t matter… but what makes him more qualified to speak on the matter than any other Brit?

    • Mary says:

      I don’t believe anyone said he was an expert. He has an opinion just like everyone else and considering he is from there he has a right. Just like other comedians who express their views here in the US. Just because they are comedians doesn’t take away the fact they are citizens also. Political outcomes affect their lives just like yours.

    • meme says:

      We have freedom of speech, which doesn’t go away if you are a comedian. John Oliver and his staff do intensive research on their topics, which does give him credibility in his presentations. Since the biggest google search in the UK AFTER the results of the Brexit vote was “what is Brexit” then it suggests that Oliver was indeed more qualified to speak on the issue than other Brits. John Oliver at least researched Brexit before making a decision on its merits.

  9. Sarah says:

    Young Americans take note: Brits just lost our right to live and work on the continent, along with countless other benefits, because some bigoted politicians – largely led by a lunatic with crazy hair who says crazy things (sound familiar yet?) – managed to manipulate older, poor and poorly-educated voters with lies and half-truths into voting to build a metaphorical wall to keep out immigrants and restore the good ol’ days before foreigners started taking all our jobs, so they can, you know, “Make Britain Great Again.”

    Young people could have made a difference – the “remain” side won in all ages groups 44 & under – but percentage of voter turnout was much higher in the older age groups.

    So let this be a lesson to you, and show up to the damn polls in November.

    Incidentally, you know who else thinks the Brexit is “a great thing?” Donald Trump.

  10. Katie_Mead says:

    I’m wondering how different the result might have been, had this been made compulsory viewing in every retirement / nursing home in Britain before the vote, to counter all the ridiculous garbage that UKIP were spouting in every marketplace and major gathering place across the country, that the “Remain” (non-)campaigners were too complacent to bother refuting, as it was so obviously steaming male cow pats to anyone with sense.
    Can’t we just split GB into two, shunting the Quitters over to the north-west, looking to Iceland & Greenland, and the rest of us in the (warmer) south-east, looking to the European mainland?