Ricky Gervais says Brexit is like ‘going back to the fucking Victorian times’

Star graces this week's cover of free NME ahead of David Brent movie

Ricky Gervais has spoken out against Britain’s decision to leave the EU in an exclusive new interview with NME.

The majority of the British public voted for Brexit back in June, with 52% opting to leave. Speaking in this week’s free NME, available nationwide from Friday (August 12), Gervais argues that the result was down to “ignorance”.

“What’s depressing, are the reasons behind it,” Gervais says. “There’s obviously a fraction [of Leave voters] who are xenophobic and racist, but that’s the way of the world. People blame foreigners. It’s terrible.”

He went on: “The truth is, we would’ve been better in. They’re not going to get the Britain they want. They’re dreaming. What do they think it’s going to be? They’re going to go back to the fucking Victorian times? They’ve been sold a lie, their life hasn’t turned out like they thought, and they’re blaming someone. And now they’re gloating about it.”

“I don’t know what this England is that they think they’ve got back,” The Office and Extras star added. “I really don’t understand it. I don’t want to call them all racists, because they’re probably not… but some of them are. Ignorance is the real enemy.”

Gervais reprises his role of Office character David Brent for upcoming movie, David Brent: Life On The Road, which opens in UK cinemas tomorrow (August 12).

In his NME cover interview, Gervais explains how Twitter has influenced the current generation and how that worked its way into the film.

“In The Office I didn’t have other characters blatantly saying, ‘[Brent is] a prat’ like they do in the film. People say everything on their mind. It’s like, everyone tweets their fucking inner-most thoughts! It’s got worse and worse, but we give way too much away now,”

“There’s a scene in Life On The Road that exactly personifies the fact that everyone’s a mob now, where Brent wants his mate Dom [played by Ben Baily Smith, AKA Doc Brown] to use ‘the N word’. Dom knows he’s not racist, so the first thing he does is look at the camera… worried about his mate… cos he knows that it will look bad. And that’s about shaming. Everyone’s fucking shaming these days.”

“First time I was on Twitter, I’d tweet something, and if one person didn’t get something, I’d explain it to them. But now I go, ‘There’s the tweet, fucking live with it!’ I study people for a living, so Twitter’s good because I don’t actually have to meet these fucking idiots. I can meet them from the safety of my Hampstead mansion”.

Read the full Ricky Gervais interview here.