The Best John Oliver Quotes About Brexit Will Help You Stay Amused Through These Perilous Times

The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last week, which sent financial markets plummeting and created massive uncertainty about the future of Great Britain's relationship with the larger European community. Of the many, many public figures who’ve been critical of Brexit, John Oliver has undoubtedly been one of the funniest. From his post at Last Week Tonight, Oliver’s best quotes about Brexit add some much-needed levity to an extremely serious, complicated, and potentially frightening development.

One of the most concerning things about Brexit, other than the fact that its advocates appealed to rank nativism and xenophobia in order to get it passed, is that no one really knows how it’s going to work, or what its long-term consequences will look like. No country has left the EU before, so the UK is in uncharted waters here. But the immediate effect was destabilizing. The markets took nosedive immediately after the vote, and British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation.

Now there are murmurs that the Brexit might not actually happen. The referendum that the UK passed was not legally binding, and it’s still possible that British lawmakers could refuse to pull the trigger. It may be a while until we know what exactly Brexit holds for the UK, Europe, and the rest of the global economy. In the meantime, Oliver has some thoughts on the matter.

On The Name Itself

LastWeekTonight on YouTube

“‘Brexit’ doesn’t sound scary. It just sounds like a shitty granola bar that you buy at an airport.”

On The UK Retaining Ties With The EU Post-Brexit

Mary Turner/Getty Images News/Getty Images

“It’s not a ‘Brexit’ so much as it’s a ‘bratus-quo,’ or a ‘bromeostasis,’ or a ‘conscious unbroupling.’”

On Why Great Britain Might Be Pro-Brexit

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“Polls suggest my homeland is on the edge of doing something absolutely insane. And on some level, I actually kind of understand, because there is an innate British desire to tell Europe to go f*ck itself.”

On The EU Itself


“It’s a complicated, bureaucratic, overbearing, inspirational, and consistently irritating institution, and Britain would be absolutely crazy to leave it. Especially because if it stays, it can reap all the benefits while still being a total d*ck about everything, and that is the British way.”

On The Impact Of The Vote

Robin Marchant/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“The UK this week voted to leave the European Union, a decision that has shaken the world. And not in a 'Muhammad Ali beating Sonny Liston' kind of way. More in a 'Those IKEA meatballs you love contain horse' kind of way.”

On David Cameron's Resignation

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

“David Cameron announced he will be stepping down in the wake of the vote, which should make me happy. But in this situation, it doesn’t. It’s like catching an ice cream cone out of the air because a child was hit by a car. I mean, I’ll eat it. I’ll eat it. But it’s tainted somehow.”

On Brexit Being Great Britain’s “Independence Day”

Jemal Countess/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“First, Britain was already independent. In fact, it’s what many other countries celebrate their independence from. And second, the sequel to the movie they’re quoting actually opened this week, and features the wholesale destruction of London, which is beginning to feel pretty f*cking appropriate right now.”

On Brexit's Relationship To Donald Trump


“You might think ‘Well, that is not going to happen to us in America. We’re not going to listen to some ridiculous-haired buffoon peddling lies and nativism in the hopes of riding a protest vote into power.’ Well, let Britain tell you: It can happen, and when it does, there are no f*cking do-overs.”

On What To Call The UK

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images News/Getty Images

“The United Kingdom: A place whose very name, after this week’s events, is starting to sound a bit sarcastic.”