Skip to main content

Eddie Izzard and Daniel Hannan debate Brexit at University of Reading – University of Reading

Show access keys

Eddie Izzard and Daniel Hannan debate Brexit at University of Reading

Release Date 25 May 2016

EU debate

Eddie Izzard and Daniel Hannan appealed to young voters to have their voice heard at the University of Reading's EU debate last night.

Co-hosted by Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell and RUSU President Oli Ratcliffe at Students' Union venue 3Sixty, around 400 students, staff and members of the local community watched the event which was covered by a range of media and live-streamed on the University's Periscope channel.

Actor and comedian Eddie Izzard and Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan took it in turns to present their case for remaining and leaving the EU respectively. The floor was then opened up to audience questions for both speakers to then debate.

Eddie Izzard focused on the humanity of the EU, highlighting the positive in co-operation with Britain's European neighbours since the Second World War and saying leaving the EU would be "a leap in the dark".

He said: "I believe in humanity, this is the right thing to do. If we can't make this work than what future do we have for humanity?"

Daniel Hannan widely covered the economic arguments and said that the leave option is a "free market not political assimilation" and criticised Britain's current relationship with Europe.

Daniel said: "We are paying more to France than impoverished African countries and economies" before adding "the countries which have done best are those not in the EU and then those who didn't go into the Euro. Those worst off are those who are deep inside the EU."

The debate attracted plenty of media attention with BBC South Today broadcasting live from the debate at 6.30pm and again for students' reaction at 10.30pm. Get Reading live-blogged from the event with journalists from ITV Meridian, the Press Association, Associated Press, Agence France Presse and the Reading Chronicle in attendance. On social media, conversation about the event on Twitter trended at number one during the evening.

A video of the debate is available to watch on the University of Reading YouTube channel.


We use Javascript to improve your experience on, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.