Bob Geldof has said the European Union does not work. One of the highest- profile, celebrity pro-EU campaigners during the Brexit referendum, he said Brussels needs a radical overhaul.
Speaking before an audience of students in Dublin, Geldof also predicted a European war within a generation or two, as the West lurches towards nationalism and populism.
“Europe needs reform — it is sclerotic,” he told Trinity College Dublin’s Law Society, which awarded him its Praeses Elit medal for his contribution to music and the greater good. “The whole system is constipated. It needs a laxative to clear it out.”
Geldof said half of Europe is desperately unhappy. “It doesn’t function,” he said. “It is ignoring the wishes of European citizens. What worked for six [member states] doesn’t work for 28.”
One of the most outlandish stunts of the in/out referendum campaign was the clash of Geldof and Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, aboard flotillas on the Thames. Geldof said he met Leave campaigner Farage earlier this week, at a party, and shook his hand. “He is an immensely dedicated populist ... You have to hand it to the guy,” he said.
However, he said Brexit is part of a reactionary movement galvanising the planet that is “really, really dangerous”.
“England, that place that represented openness and tolerance, when I couldn’t find it here [in Ireland] seems to be closing down,” he said. “It is increasingly less comfortable for me, and others who think like me, being there.”
The UK was resiling from the 21st century, he said.
Geldof said the countries in the West are being reduced to economically competing states, and in that scenario countries “go to war at a scratch. I think we will go to war, possibly within a generation, possibly two. I really think that,” he said.
A “thuggish, predatory Russia being led by a brute” was already invading Europe as we speak, Geldof said.
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