Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie lectured European Union leaders on “isolationism” and accused them of a “race to the bottom” over their handling of the migrant crisis.
EU nations are “competing to be the toughest in the hope of protecting themselves whatever the cost or challenge to their neighbors,” Jolie said, adding that European countries are neglecting their responsibilities to the humanitarian crisis triggered by the five-year civil war in Syria.
“Isolationism is not strength. Fragmentation is not the answer. Strength lies in being unafraid: in working with others, and living up to our highest ideals,” Jolie said.
She also hinted that she wanted British voters to back staying in the EU in June’s referendum.
Jolie’s comments were immediately set upon by Eurosceptics, who blasted the movie star for appearing to “tell us how to vote in the referendum.”
“It’s just what the people were looking forward to: another American coming over here telling us how to vote in the referendum,” Tory parliament member Andrew Bridgen said.
“The British public need to understand that ultimately all countries are in competition with each other and act in their own interests and it’s clear that it’s in the Americans’ interests to have us remain in the EU given the strength of anti-American feeling that is on the continent.
“However, this is not in Britain’s interests to have this ultimate sacrifice. We can be a stronger and better ally for America and the free world as an independent, sovereign nation,” Bridgen said.
Tory MP and leading Eurosceptic Peter Bone said Britain would have the capacity to take in more migrants if we were no longer part of the EU’s freedom of movement rules.
He told MailOnline: “Staying in the EU is being little-Europeans; people who want to come out of the EU look to the world; we want to trade with the world, we want an immigration system that’s fair for the whole world and doesn’t discriminate against people from different backgrounds and we’re outward looking, whereas the European Union is an inward looking closed shop.
“Coming out of the EU we’ll obviously continue to be part of the UN, we’ll continue to be part of the G8 and we will continue to play a major role as the fifth biggest economy in the world. With all our links with countries around the world – not least the Commonwealth – we will be more outward looking and we’ll stop having to concentrate on this ever-shrinking European Union market and look to the rest of the world.”
Jolie also appeared to criticize German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying the opening of Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees added to the EU’s disorderly response to the humanitarian crisis.
“We need to have a real order, and we need to be explaining how things are being done in a clear way,” Jolie said. “It is also important that the process is clear so that people in the receiving country understand and have better confidence in the system.”
“After so many years of failed attempts by governments and leaders to do the right thing we are angry, we feel cheated and we feel confused,” Jolie said. “We are starting to think that maybe it is simply not possible to make a lasting difference.
“But the worst possible choice we could now make is to decide to step back from the world. It would be naïve to think that we can protect ourselves selectively, alone, from challenges in a globalized world, by pulling away from other countries or peoples.”