John Oliver Reacts to Brexit: "Lives Hang in the Balance"

Oliver explained how and why the country is so utterly screwed.

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Despite John Oliver’s best attempts to intervene, Britain has voted to withdraw from the European Union. On Last Week Tonight on Sunday, Oliver outlined what happens now, why it happens now, and why on Earth nobody knows what the plan is now.

The results of the referendum led to prime minister David Cameron announcing his resignation. Normally, Oliver explained, he’d be happy about that, but as it was because of the Brexit result, it was hard to get excited. “It’s like catching an ice-cream cone out of the air because a child was hit by a car,” Oliver said.

Cameron’s Conservative Party is now expected to elect a new leader (and thus prime minister) before September 2. Vote Leave co-chair Boris Johnson is one of the favorites to succeed him.

Johnson and UKIP leader Nigel Farage both heralded June 23, the day of the vote, as “independence day,” with Farage calling for it to be made a national holiday. “Britain was already independent! In fact, it’s what most other countries celebrate their independence from!” Oliver said.

Many of the leave campaign’s promises were quickly dropped the morning after the vote. Oliver attacked the £350 million figure that Vote Leave claimed went to the EU. Less than 12 hours after the result was declared, Farage denied that the money would go to the National Health Service (NHS).

“It’s frankly hard not to think that some Britons might not have thought this through,” Oliver said. Search terms googled the following morning included “what is the eu” and “what does it mean to leave the eu.”

When asked about Brexit on a visit to Scotland the following morning, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump described it as a “beautiful” result, while simultaneously stating the campaign was peaceful and contentious. “If he had simply breathed audibly into the microphone, the same amount of information would have been conveyed,” Oliver said.