Benedict Cumberbatch and Patrick Stewart among Hollywood actors lining up against Brexit

Hollywood actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Stewart, Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keira Knightley and Kristin Scott Thomas are among leading figures from the arts world backing a vote to remain in the EU.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Patrick Stewart among Hollywood actors lining up against Brexit

Music stars Hot Chip, alt-J and Paloma Faith, authors Hilary Mantel and John le Carre and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood are also among the 282 figures supporting a Remain vote.

The group, including Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, said being part of the EU “bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage”, warning that Brexit would leave the country “an outsider shouting from the wings”.

The letter comes as the Creative Industries Federation revealed that more than 96% of its members supported a ‘remain’ vote on June 23.

The signatories, also including stage and screen veterans Brian Blessed and Derek Jacobi, Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell and Alan Partridge actor Steve Coogan, said: “From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders.

“Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.

“And what would ‘out’ really mean? Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s cultural sector.”

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