British peer and Oscar winner David Puttnam has railed against Brexit, claiming future generations, including those in Ireland, will pay the price.
Speaking at an event in West Cork, Puttnam said the idea of re-erecting a border between the North and the Republic was “bonkers” and the vote in the United Kingdom today on whether Britain remains in the EU was the most important of his lifetime.
The filmmaker, a Labour peer in the House of Lords and a resident of Skibbereen, was speaking in Lisavaird National School near Clonakilty, the primary school attended by Michael Collins.
Puttnam was the first non-Irish person to address the annual Michael Collins commemoration in Béal na mBláth when he spoke there nine years ago.
Stressing Collins’ courage and statesmanship, he also appealed to any Irish residents with a vote in today’s referendum to vote remain.
He said the result of the vote would definitely affect Ireland and added: “I find that anyone lunatic enough to vote for the UK to leave Europe will have to pay a high price, but it won’t be them paying it — it will be their children and their children’s children.
“Anyone who thinks that the re-erection of a border between north and south is bonkers, I would suggest that you go home tonight and pray that the people of the UK come to a sane and sensible decision tomorrow and not damage your futures.”
Puttnam said he had already sent his postal vote in the referendum and would be “literally begging” anyone thinking of voting for the UK to leave the EU to think again.
He was also scathing of UKIP leader Nigel Farage and of the leader of the Leave campaign, Boris Johnson. Paying tribute to the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, he said her death had “isolated” Farage from other elements of the Leave campaign, adding: “Farage is an embarrassment to them.”
Puttnam described Boris Johnson as a “wholly unprincipled man” and said he hoped sufficient undecided voters would swing the vote towards remaining in the EU.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved