GB News’ Neil Oliver in furious Brexit tirade: ‘Referendums are madness!’

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TV presenter Neil Oliver will be joining the new television channel GB News. The freelance archaeologist will host a new weekly current affairs and interview programme. Mr Oliver’s show will focus on “the people from all walks of life who make Britain great”, according to the announcement put out by GB News.

The author claimed that debate in the UK had been “stifled” and that the new channel “feels like opening a window and letting in some fresh air”.

The “anti-woke” channel, which is due to launch on June 13, is chaired by former BBC journalist Andrew Neil.

Commenting on joining GB News, Mr Oliver said: “My career has always been driven by my fascination with people, whether it’s trying to understand ancient people through archaeology or living ones through journalism.

“Debate in this country has been stifled for so long that GB News feels like opening a window and letting some fresh air, fresh perspectives and fresh voices.

“I never imagined my career would take this turn but I’m hugely excited that it has.”

As anticipation for the launch of GB News grows, unearthed reports shed light on Mr Oliver’s personal opinions.

In 2018, the television presenter hit out at the “Brexit nonsense”, arguing referendums are no way to run a country.

He said: “We go through the agony of electing MPs so that we have a room full of people with time on their hands. They can read the bumf and talk until they’re blue in the face and make the decisions on our behalf.

“Referendums are madness precisely because they are, in principle at least, one turn of pitch and toss.

“The last two referendums held in the UK have made it plain we haven’t, and please pardon my French, got the balls.”

He added in his column for The Times: “As it happens, I didn’t want to leave the EU — not because I thought it was a good thing but on account of my belief in it being a bad idea to go down in history as the first rat to leave a sinking ship.”

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What is much worse, Mr Oliver concluded, is the incessant bickering and the fact Britain now “stinks of desperation”.

The television presenter is also a vocal critic of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Before the 2014 independence referendum, Mr Oliver stated in an interview with The Herald, that he was “proud of Britain”.

He also noted his dislike of the forthcoming referendum saying he found “this kind of internecine squabbling puts my teeth on edge. I would rather that it would just go away – or that it had never happened”.

He went on to say that he “liked the status quo”.

As a result of his comments, when he was appointed President of the National Trust for Scotland, thousands signed petitions calling on him to resign.

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In December 2020, Mr Oliver reasserted his personal opposition to Scottish independence, describing the uncertainty caused by the prospect of a second referendum as a “cancerous presence”.

He added: “I’m a British citizen, that’s how I see myself.

“Not in an argumentative way, I don’t see that I should have to cede my right to understand myself as I am to some politician.”

He has also previously accused Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of “making a fool of Scotland” and said she had made him “sick to my stomach”.

He told the East Anglian Daily Times (EADT) he believed a lot was to be learned from Britain’s history in considering things like independence.

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