UK stars back staying in EU

Scores of celebrities, including Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, came out in force for remain vote

London: "Sherlock" star Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Stewart, Bill Nighy, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and Keira Knightley are among the leading stars who have appealed to the voters to back staying in the European Union.

Benedict Cumberbatch
English actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Pic/AFP

A joint letter, which includes author Hilary Mantel, John le Carre and fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood among the 282 signatories, was issued ahead of June 23 referendum in Britain on whether to remain in EU.

The group, including poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, said being part of the EU "bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage", warning that Brexit would leave the country "an outsider shouting from the wings".

"Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away. And what would ‘out’ really mean? Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s cultural sector," the letter read.

The letter comes as the Creative Industries Federation revealed that more than 96 per cent of its members supported a Remain vote on June 23. The signatories, including Helena Bonham Carter, Kristin Scott Thomas and Dominic West, said: "From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders."

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