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The Absolutely Fabulous star, 74, voted Remain in the EU referendum five years ago but has appeared to support Brexit in some more remarks. Lumley rose to fame as a model before transitioning to TV. The actress admitted to feeling torn over the UK’s decision to leave the European Union but believed we had to “make the best of it”.
After 52 percent of the nation voted Leave in the referendum, Lumley warned “Europe had changed” since the inception of the EU.
She claimed it would be harder for the UK to “go back to being independent and sovereign” because Europe now “belongs to itself”.
Lumley explained they had “formed a club”, which governed Europeans’ ability to travel, trade and more.
While the star seemed to paint a glum picture of the future, she admitted to having “always understood” Brexiteers’ problems with the EU.
Joanna Lumley was concerned about the EU referendum because of her Danish and Scottish heritage
Joanna Lumley worked as a model before her TV fame and travelled across Europe
In 2016, Lumley told AOL’s Build Series LDN: “We’ve all sat on overly-large committees and cannot get them all to agree.”
She argued it was “hard” enough to get a “hung jury to agree” and “that has only 12 people” – compared to the 27 EU member states.
Lumley continued: “So you can understand people saying, ‘Let’s get out of this, let’s make our own decisions!’”
Despite voting Remain, she claimed to “understand a great deal of Brexiteers’ problems”.
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She listed issues such as “how do we get rid of them”, referring to the EU, or “how do you change such a huge ship?”
During a 2019 interview on 60 Minutes Australia, the star admitted she was surprised by the referendum result.
Lumley said: “I think if you’d taken a poll of the country up north and other places, they would have had a better idea.
“But I think they sat back thinking ‘this probably wouldn’t happen’ and they were wrong, they misjudged it.”
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She claimed the UK was “reeling a bit” after the referendum and felt it was hard to keep up with the latest Brexit news.
Lumley said: “Everyday stuff is happening, even while we are doing this interview more people are retiring or resigning or being sacked or changing.”
She described Brexit as “the most colossal post-war shake around” the UK had experienced.
Lumley said: “I think the impact has actually [sent] shockwaves through Europe.
Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders played Patsy Stone and Edina Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous
“I think no man is an island and this is going to affect a lot of people.”
However, she believed in the nation’s “strong-minded British way” and acknowledged: “We have got to make the best of it.”
Lumley believed Britons needed to “remain as European as possible” and to continue to maintain an interest in Europe.
She explained: “The reason at school I did Latin, French, German and Italian is because I’m passionate about Europe – all of us are and the world [is] in general.”
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Lumley felt inner turmoil over Brexit because of her heritage and felt the nation had “suddenly turned our backs on” Europe.
She said: “Well I’m actually Danish and I’m also Scottish, so I don’t know how you separate these things – it’s a big muddle.”
Despite her struggles over Brexit, Lumley felt “nothing had changed” between the UK’s relationship with Europeans.
In a 2017 Radio Times interview, she said: “The people on the continent will miss us and we will miss them.
Joanna Lumley is best known for playing Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous with Jennifer Saunders
“They adore us going over there and they love to come here.”
Lumley claimed Europeans “loved Savile Row”, an area known for bespoke tailoring, and British theatre.
She added: “We love the cheese, the wine, the arts [and] the music.”
Lumley felt Europe and the UK’s shared interests and care for one another would remain after Brexit and flatly reiterated: “Nothing has changed.”