John Cooper Clarke speaks out on Brexit Day: “We’ve had the result, so let’s fucking act on it”

"The main thing is that it's a democracy. We've had the result, so just fucking act on it."

The seminal punk poet John Cooper Clarke has spoken out ahead of Britain’s imminent exit from the European Union to stress the importance of honouring the result of the 2016 referendum.

Britain will officially cease to be a member of the European Union at 23:00 GMT tonight (January 31) after MEPs officially approved Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Wednesday afternoon (January 29).

Cooper Clarke, who became a figurehead of the punk movement in the 1970s, has urged the UK to “fucking act on it [the result] and keep it simple”.

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“The main thing is that’s a democracy. We’ve had the result, so just fucking act on it. Keep it simple,” Cooper Clarke told NME this week.

“I’m not gonna tell you how I voted or how I didn’t vote. But the fucking figures are in, they’ve been in for four years so fucking do it.”

While pro-European campaigners argue that leaving the bloc could have economic and social consequences that will last for a generation, Cooper Clarke says it is more important that democracy is honoured.

John Cooper Clarke (Picture: Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

“It’s far more important that every generation believes in the ethics of a democracy than it is to prolong some sort of business deal that we have with Europe,” he explained.

Cooper-Clarke admitted that there are both advantages and disadvantages to the European Union, but said that Brexit was not “the end of the fucking world”.

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“It’s far more important for people to believe that what they vote for has some sort of effect,” he said. “You know what I mean?

“As I’ve said, I’m not revealing how I’ve voted and there are some advantages of being in the EU. My wife, and ergo half of my family, are French so it suits me perfectly to be in the EU.

“But in the provinces, there are many detrimental effects of this. I ain’t nailing my colours to the mast, but get over it. It’s just a vote that didn’t go your way at worst. Not the fucking end of the world. Deal with it.”

He added: “Everyone wants to do business. I don’t understand business and don’t claim to be a businessman, but everyone will still want to trade, do it. If I properly understood it, I’d be a lot fucking richer than I am.”

Cooper Clarke’s comments come as musicians and figures from across the entertainment industry continue to voice their takes on Britain’s 11PM exit.

The Chemical Brothers‘ Ed Simons, Edwyn Collins, Nadine ShahGhostpoet and Tracey Thorn are among some of the musicians who have suggested that it is no cause for celebration, with Shah writing that she is “heartbroken”.

Earlier this week, a new campaign to get Ode To Joy into the UK’s Official Singles chart was launched. Andre Rieu’s rendition of the Beethoven classic was first adopted by the Council of Europe as its anthem in 1972.

Tonight, leading Brexiteers plan to mark the UK’s historic exit with a celebration party in Westminster’s Parliament Square from 9pm-11pm.

Revellers will hear speeches from Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe, Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin and radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer.

They will be joined by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and party chair Richard Tice.

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