Esteemed actor and LGBT+ icon Sir Ian McKellen has said he thinks he’ll be “long dead” before Brexit actually happens.
McKellen compared the repeated extensions on the Brexit deadline, currently set as January 31 2020, to a terrible game of chess.
The 80-year-old told PA: “I did think the other day, as we battle through Brexit, I thought ‘Oh good God, when I’m long dead they still won’t have the Brexit deal complete, so I think I won’t take a view on it.’”
He added: “I’ve withdrawn entirely, emotionally, from the race and am now watching it as a bit of chess and all I can say is they are wretched players and don’t know a pawn from a queen.”
While McKellen has now decided to “withdraw” from taking a position on Brexit, he has previously advocated for the UK to remain in the European Union.
Before the 2016 referendum he said that is made “no sense” for gay people to support Brexit, and told the Telegraph that the UK needs to use its influence within the EU to lobby for LGBT rights around the world.
The star of the soon-to-be-released film The Good Liar said: “Now is the time to be backing Europe and giving back that sense of empowerment to countries in the European Union that are still very backward in this regard.
“If I were to look at ‘in’ or ‘out’ from that point of view, there’s only one point, which is to stay.
“If you’re a gay person, you’re an internationalist. I don’t want us to retract. I don’t want to and I won’t, whatever the vote happens to be.
“It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it’s nearly the end of my life. And it’s up to the youngsters to decide, really.”
Sir Ian McKellen to officially launch World AIDS Day charity run.
It was recently announced that McKellen would cut the ribbon for the annual World AIDS Day Red Run in London’s Victoria Park on November 30 to raise money for HIV services.
He said: “The Red Run is a joyful event. Whether you run, walk or just stand about, you’ll know you’re doing it for the essential case of drawing attention and raising funds for HIV organisations across the country. I’m really looking forward to it.”