David Beckham Backs 'Remain' Campaign In EU Referendum

21/06/2016 09:00 | Updated 21 June 2016
Carl Court/PA Archive
Last minute winner: David Beckham has come out for Remain

David Beckham has tried to score a last minute winner for the 'Remain' campaign by backing EU membership ahead of Thursday's vote.

"We live in a vibrant and connected world where together as a people we are strong.  For our children and their children we should be facing the problems of the world together and not alone," he said today.

The former England captain said the UK would "always be Great" no matter what the result, but urged his fans to vote in favour of continued membership.

David Cameron welcomed the move and described it as a "moving" intervention.

Beckham's wife Victoria also tweeted to back her husband's position after pro-Brexit campaign group's poster than quoted her previous eurosceptic views.

In 1996, Victoria Beckham told the Spectator she was not a fan of European officials who were "destroying every bit of of national identity".

Leave.EU, which is not the official Brexit campaign led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, tweeted today:

Leave.EU's Arron Banks later telling Victoria Beckham to "suck it up Vicky".

David Beckham said in statement today explaining his decision to back 'Remain': "I played my best years at my boyhood club, Manchester United.  I grew up with a core group of young British players that included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville Brothers.  Added to that was an experienced group of older British players such as Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce and Paul Ince.

"Now that team might have gone on to win trophies but we were a better and more successful team because of a Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, the leadership of an Irishman Roy Keane and the skill of a Frenchman in Eric Cantona.

"I was also privileged to play and live in Madrid, Milan and Paris with teammates from all around Europe and the world. Those great European cities and their passionate fans welcomed me and my family and gave us the opportunity to enjoy their unique and inspiring cultures and people."

He added: "For these reasons I am voting to Remain."

Told about the news, Conservative justice secretary and lead Brexit campaigner Michael Gove hit back with his own footballers.

"Sol Campbell is for 'Leave', as indeed is John Barnes," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Speaking to ITV this morning, Cameron said: "There was a very moving statement today from David Beckham talking about his children and saying how effectively, what he said to me was, 'You can’t win in Europe, unless you’re on the pitch'.

"And that’s true. I worry about that as prime minister, I know that we sit around the table and make decisions about security and safety and fighting terrorism and all the rest of it, fighting climate change.

"And if we leave they don’t stop meeting and making decisions that affect us, but they’ll be making decisions about us but without us in the room and that would be bad for Britain."

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