Michael Palin felt ‘only way’ to understand Brexit was with ‘Monty Python’ after PM swipe

Michael Palin on North Korea's former leaders

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The British actor is best-known for his work with the comedy group Monty Python. Palin joined John Cleese and Graham Chapman for his first outing with the stars in Monty Python’s Flying Circus in the late Sixties. The 77-year-old, whose travel show Brazil With Michael Palin airs tonight, has also drawn attention with his political views – most recently his take on Brexit. 

Palin has continuously reiterated his fears about Brexit and has often argued it was a bad decision.

During an interview on Australia’s The Sunday Project, he claimed there was “nothing funny” about the decision to leave the EU.

In 2018, He said: “There’s not a single joke in Brexit. At all.”

Palin vented at the TV show’s hosts during a discussion about Brexit and said it was “not funny, unfortunately”.

He continued: “I wish it were funny and then we would be okay.”

After the Brexit fallout, Palin’s comedy troupe Monty Python launched a poll to find out the public’s biggest concerns.

Of the 1,000 Britons surveyed, more people were “worried about their phone battery running out” than leaving the EU.

The poll revealed that 77 percent of people had “day-to-day worries” opposite to concerns about bigger issues.

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Of that group, a quarter of them were “more worried about their small worries” than Brexit, climate change, finance and relationships. 

The survey found that people spent an average of nine minutes a day worrying about their phone dying or losing signal. 

While Monty Python’s study suggested the public was not overly concerned about Brexit, Palin was extremely fearful.

He believed 52 percent of the people voted to leave the EU, solely because they were “mistrustful of foreigners”. 

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The independent research group UK In A Changing Europe found the two main reasons for voting Leave were “immigration” and “sovereignty”.

Other reasons cited in the 2018 study included “to teach British politicians a lesson” and as a “protest vote”.

Palin admitted he was “saddened” by Brexit and believed the public “would rather not mix” with Europeans. 

In 2019, he told iNews: “That worries me a great deal.

“The idea that these people are somehow going to ruin our way of life seems to be completely wrong and misbegotten.”

Palin argued that immigration had “done an enormous amount of good” and urged the public: “Don’t close your mind!”

He claimed “whenever” he went to an NHS hospital he was treated by “doctors and nurses from different nations of the world”.

The argument over immigration has been cited before, but many Brexiteers were against the EU’s power and bureaucracy. 

In 2016, actress Joanna Lumley told AOL’s Build Series that she “understood” Brexiteers’ problems. 

Michael Palin receives knighthood at Buckingham Palace in 2019

Among the most prominent was getting 27 EU member states to agree. 

She said: “Look how hard it is to get a hung jury to agree, that’s only 12 people and look how hard that is.”

During the Brexit negotiations under Mrs May, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte compared her to the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

He said she “occasionally reminded” of the character from the 1975 comedy film.

Mr Rutte said: “All his arms and legs are cut off, and then he says to his opponent, ‘Let’s call it a draw.’”

Palin considered the comparison before confessing that the world could still be looked at “from a Python point of view”.

He felt it had to be seen that way because the world was such “an extraordinarily absurd place”.

Palin continued: “People are still doing very silly things and making ridiculous spectacles of themselves.

“The only way you can see what’s going on in the Brexit mess is through the eyes of Python.

“Just look at all the name-calling, it’s extremely Pythonic.”

Brazil With Michael Palin airs at 8pm tonight on BBC Two.

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