A VOTE to leave the European Union will probably trigger the break-up of the United Kingdom, comedian Eddie Izzard has warned.
The multi-lingual stand-up artist was giving a passionate defence of the 28-country bloc to students ahead of the referendum on June 23.
Izzard, who is currently touring for the Stand Up For Europe campaign, also urged young voters to cast their ballot if they wanted a stake in Britain’s political future.
On stage at Warwick Arts Centre, he said that: “Otherwise, older generations are telling a younger generation how their future should be, and that’s not right.”
He said the UK had benefited from a 70-year peace dividend as a result of Europe first coming together “to stop wars happening”.
The performer was speaking as the government announced the deadline to register to vote in the referendum is to be extended until midnight on Thursday, after the gov.uk website was crashed by high demand last night.
Brexit campaigners have accused the government of trying to “skew” the result of the EU referendum by extending the deadline.
Meanwhile, Izzard claimed “Brexit means break-up”, if the country wakes up to a Leave result on June 24. Speaking after the event, he said: “If people vote for Brexit we know that Scottish Nationalists are very keen to have a separation.”
Izzard added: “Nicola Sturgeon – she won’t do it on the next day, I think she’d bide her time, but if we do pull out of the EU, then Scotland is going.
“I think they’ll be off at some point. I think the vast majority of Scotland want to stay in the EU, so Brexit means break-up. That’s not a good thing.”
Izzard campaigned for Scotland to stay as part of the United Kingdom ahead of the independence referendum in September 2014.
Earlier this year, Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Ms Sturgeon warned that a vote for Leave against the wishes of Scotland would “almost certainly” trigger another independence referendum.
Izzard – who is appearing on tonight’s BBC Question Time opposite Ukip leader Nigel Farage – said he wanted young people to have the advantages he had had.
He said: “I am very positive on Europe. I think the fact we have low-cost flights to Europe because of the EU, that we have zero [mobile phone] roaming charges from next year because of the EU, free healthcare across 28 member countries because of the EU.”