Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine on Friday said Britain should leave the European Union if it does not manage to negotiate “extremely significant changes”, as the country prepares for a historic membership referendum.
“Unless there are some extremely significant changes, we should get out,” he said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, adding: “I sort of feel certain we should come out”.
The 82-year-old star said Europe was now being run by a “sort of government-by-proxy” which has now got “carried away”.
“You cannot be dictated to by thousands of faceless civil servants who make these rules,” he said.
Caine, well known for his distinctive working class Cockney accent, started out in film in the 1960s, starring in a string of classics including “Zulu”, “Alfie” and “The Italian Job”.
In 1986, he won an Oscar for best supporting actor for Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters”.
Caine has previously said he has no party allegiance and has voted for both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, two former prime ministers from the Conservative and Labour parties, in the past.
Prime Minister David Cameron says he is hopeful of reforming Britain’s EU membership at a summit next month and has said he will campaign to stay in if he does so in a vote due to be held by the end of 2017.
Many commentators expect a vote later this year.
The head of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage immediately welcomed Caine’s comments.
“I welcome @themichaelcaine’s support for #Brexit. Let’s blow the bloody doors off!” he tweeted, quoting one of the actor’s most famous lines.