British comedian, Eddie Izzard, believes the people of Derry should vote for the U.K. to remain part of the European Union on June 23.
Izzard, who visited Derry on Friday afternoon, is campaigning for the U.K. to remain part of the E.U. and will explain his reasons why by visiting 31 cities in 31 days - today is the 12th day of the campaign.
The campaign is called ‘Standing Up For Europe’ and Izzard took part in a special question and answer session in the Glassworks in Great James Street.
“The campaign is going really well,” said Izzard.
“It’s almost more tiring and more strenuous than running 27 marathons inside 27 days which is kind of bonkers because you’d think it wouldn’t be.
“The thing with the campaign is that you are always on - when you’re not on stage talking to people you’re doing interviews and debates. It’s a bit like keeping balls up in the air but hopefully it gets easier as I continue with the campaign,” he added.
Izzard was born in the British Colony of Aden (contemporary Yemen) in 1962 but when he was one year-old he moved with his family to Bangor Co. Down where he spent the earlier years of his life growing up.
“I am trying to talk to young people,” he said. “People aged between 18 and 35 who are 80 per cent positive towards remaining in Europe.”
Izzard explained he thinks Derry and the rest of the North should vote to remain within the E.U. on June 23.
“There are so many reasons for Northern Ireland to vote to remain part of the E.U.
“The net-gain Northern Ireland gets from the E.U, is £100m although the leave side will tell you it’s £60m but the fact remains it’s all millions coming in so it’s crazy not to access this money.
“Eighty per cent of farm earnings come in from the E.U. and that equates to £2.5b over the last 10 years.
“Then there’s the issue of the border here - they might come back, they are coming back, they might not come back but who wants them to come back? Especially in this fair city where you have had more than your fair share of tough times.”
He added: “I just want the people of Northern Ireland to have as good a time as they possibly can. It’s what we do as human beings. I am a transgender man, I came from Northern Ireland, now playing Hollywood Bowl, I am touring in French and German, I have played all over the world - it’s time to go forwards and upwards instead of backwards and putting up walls again.”
The next cities on Izzard’s ‘Standing Up For Europe’ campaign are London, Portsmouth and Warwick.