British expat in Portugal voted for Brexit to stop freedom of movement

James O'Brien on his LBC radio programme. Photograph: LBC/Global.

James O'Brien on his LBC radio programme. Photograph: LBC/Global. - Credit: Archant

A British caller to James O'Brien's show said that he voted for Brexit because there is too much freedom of movement - speaking from the comfort of his home in Portugal.

Mike, who lives in Alcoutim, called the LBC show to talk about why he had voted Brexit and gave a few reasons that he discussed with O'Brien.

He objected to wasted cash spent moving EU parliament between Strasbourg and Brussels, but O'Brien countered by saying that the UK should have engaged harder with the EU to "agitate for change from the inside" on that count.

He also reminded Mike of the recently published government estimates of the costs of a no-deal Brexit - such as the annual £15 billion in paperwork for businesses to trade with the EU.

But the really baffling moment was when the caller said he voted Leave because of "the continuous movement of people".


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O'Brien asked him: "Where are you calling from?"

"I'm calling from Portugal," said Mike.

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"Ok, carry on," said O'Brien.

Mike began speaking about England's struggling infrastructure and that we should try and "support what is there at the moment".

The pair began to discuss - and disagree about - the role of austerity in this, with Mike claiming "austerity had to happen".

"So, Mike in Portugal voted to leave the European Union because there's too much freedom of movement," said O'Brien. "Is that how we remember this call?"

"Indeed," said Mike.

"Ok mate. You know how this looks, right?" said O'Brien, finishing up.

But Mike didn't seem to see the irony.

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