Celebrity Brexit Intervention of the Week

Numb-Nuts Celebrity Brexit Intervention of the Week: Jurgen Klopp Is Sick as a Parrot

The Brexit conversation has become so cliched it sounds like a post-match interview.

by Gavin Haynes
01 February 2019, 12:54pm

Jurgen Klopp (Independent Photo Agency Srl / Alamy Stock Photo)

What is it? It’s an interview with the BBC.
Do they have a book out? Nope. Just a football team out ahead.
Has The indy100 Already Done A Thing On It? Oh yes.
Is It More Amazing Than That Express Story About A Time Traveller From 2030 Who Has Come Back To Warn Us About Brexit? Nah.

“I’m 51 years old so I have never experienced a war.” Not my words, the words of Liverpool FC’s manager.

The Stuttgart native was being interviewed by the BBC this week, when the chat turned to Brexit. His replies showed how neatly the language of the Premier League post-match press conference matches that of the Brexit process.

“The past showed us that as long as strong partners are together, Europe is a much safer place,” he explained. “Just calm down and stick together and stop listening to people with no knowledge, from the right side because that's never the solution.”

Basically, every international treaty is a cup final now. It’s a results business, Brexit, and we all have to give 110 percent, of GDP, to French dairy farmers. There are no easy FTAs at this level.

Jurgen is a long-time Brexit-hater. Last year, he gave an interview to the Guardian in which he said he supported a second referendum.

“When I speak to people they say, ‘I wanted to stay [in Europe] but I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t feel it yet as a person.’ I feel it constantly because since I came here the pound dropped.”

Ah, the classic “football managers’ salaries are affected by currency depreciation” argument against Brexit. Truly, the 30 yard free kick of European unity.

In the main, he saw the EU as being about peace: a worthy argument, but flawed. By 1957, the US-Soviet standoff had already rendered Europe the chessboard rather than the chess players, and nuclear weapons made a land war unthinkable.

In 2012 they gave the EU a Nobel Prize for keeping the continent safe, but really it should have been shared with Joseph Stalin.

Still, the important thing was they’d got the three points. “History taught us,” he told the Beeb, “ That if you are alone, you are weaker than the unit.”

Cue: people on Twitter lining up to point out all the obvious counter-examples: Venice in the middle ages. The Dutch republic in the 17th century. The American colonies from late 18th. Hong Kong after 1948.

Plus, as Jurgen may know, Germany was unified out of Prussia, Hanover and various smaller states, then spent 30 years ploughing the soils of Europe red with blood.

As all footie bosses should know, to every cliche there is a counter-cliche. A stitch in time does save nine. But did you know that fortune also favours the brave? And while absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder, out of sight is truly out of mind.

Has The Intervention Of A Celebrity With Something On Their Mind Decisively Changed The Game On Brexit Forever? Not this week. Sorry.

If you spot any celebrities making a numbnuts Brexit intervention, please send them in to gavin.haynes@vice.com or hit Gav up on Twitter

jurgen klopp