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“There are no f*cking do-overs”: John Oliver nails everything that’s wrong with Brexit

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“It wasn’t a practice vote. This was it.”
  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

John Oliver’s Brexit nightmare came true on June 23. This Sunday (June 26), he drove home how unfounded it was for UK to leave the EU–and tossed the US a warning on Donald Trump.

During HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Oliver slammed his homeland’s Brexit choice. He worried a week ago that his countrymen were on the verge of doing something “absolutely insane.”  In the aftermath of the vote, Oliver was visibly rattled and had no qualms about firing shots at politicians and voters.

David Cameron—who proposed the referendum—announced he would step down after the vote. Oliver said that Cameron stepping down should make him happy, but it’s “like catching an ice cream cone out of the air because a child was hit by a car. I’ll eat it, I’ll eat it but it’s tainted somehow,” he said.

One of the leave campaigners from UK’s independent party, Nigel Farage, whom Oliver dubs a “three-time cover model for punchable face magazine,” had proposed making June 23 UK’s Independence Day, and Boris Johnson, a contender for prime minister, concurred. “Britain was already independent,” Oliver sneered. “In fact, it’s what many other countries celebrate their independence from.”

The leave campaigners had also painted buses with the message: “We send the EU £350 million ($479 million) a week, let’s fund NHS instead.” Oliver mocked how quickly Farage backtracked when asked the day after the vote whether the National Health Service (NHS) would get the money.

Once the legal mechanism for divorce, Article 50,  is invoked, the clock will start ticking on the two years Britain has to negotiate withdrawal and its future relationship with the EU. Oliver knocked out the long to-do list: settle outstanding bills with the EU, hammer out new trade deals with dozens of countries, sift through thousands of EU regulations and decide which ones to keep, and figure out how migration will work.

And what should we do with the immigrant lives that hang in the balance? ”Just tell them that they might be screwed because a pigfucker called for a vote, a bus had some bullshit written on it, and then two idiots named Nigel and Boris quoted president Bill Pullman. They’ll get it. They’ll totally understand,” Oliver said.

In the hours after Brexit, top search terms on Google showed the confusion over leaving the EU—and even what the EU is. For Brexit voters who woke up wishing they could turn back time, Oliver said: “It wasn’t a practice vote. This was it.”

The coup de grâce was a resounding warning to US voters considering voting for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump: “You might think, well, that is not going to happen to us in America. We’re not going to listen to some ridiculously haired buffoon pedaling lies and nativism in the hopes of riding a protest vote into power. Well, let Britain tell you, it can happen, and when it does, there are no fucking do-overs.”

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