NAPALM DEATH singer Mark "Barney" Greenway has dismissed Brexit as "a completely pointless exercise," arguing that "people need to be careful what they wish for."
A public vote — called a referendum — was held in June 2016 when voters were asked just one question: whether the U.K. should leave or remain in the EU, a group of 28 countries which trade with each other and allow anyone to easily move between the countries to live and work. The "Leave" side won (by nearly 52% to 48%) but the exit didn't happen straight away — it is slated to take place in March 2019.
The Brexit vote has thrown the U.K. into a period of uncertainty, with some economists warning that it may lead to a downturn in the British economy while other people have claimed that it will help the U.K. negotiate better terms with the EU. A poll showed that many voters opted for Brexit because they "wanted the U.K. to regain control over EU immigration."
Asked by KISW's "Metal Shop" what his opinion is of Brexit, Greenway said (hear audio below): "I think it's actually a completely pointless exercise. Here's the thing: I'm not always a big fan of the European mechanism from a financial point of view. Where I do love the European thing is that it brings people together. And we've managed to, by and large, not have major wars on the European continent since Nazi Germany and Italy and whatever. So, from that perspective, if it makes people come together and it's a socialized thing where they help people in countries that are struggling, I'm all for that. The financial side of things, not so much… Making countries pay a debt back when clearly the people are suffering, that's not right — you shouldn't do that. So, I am for it in many ways, but then not in others."
The frontman, who has long been outspoken on politics, religion and social issues, continued: "We already have in Europe traces of the sort of things that happened when [Adolf] Hitler came to power. In Southern and Eastern Europe, we have kind of neo-fascist movements operating in plain view. So people need to be careful what they wish for, because it could all escalate again, and I'm sure nobody wants that.
"People should start to try and understand what being a human being is and how to treat other human beings," Greenway added. "Once that is established, the politics goes out of the window; politics is meaningless. Human beings, first and foremost, that's what matters — above and beyond anything else. Human rights, people are very cynical about it, but that is the basis of living together in a world — everybody's got rights, and it has to be maintained… Wherever you are, whatever your place is, then everybody has to be given equality and dignity."
Just this past Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May was defeated in a landslide vote in Parliament, where lawmakers rejected her Brexit deal by a vote of 432 to 202 — leaving Britain's future relationship with the European Union unclear.