Shakespeare 'would have been a Remainer', professor claims

A leading academic claimed Shakespeare would have sympathised with Remainers. (Wikimedia Commons)

A leading academic has claimed William Shakespeare would have been a Remainer.

René Weis, a professor of English at UCL, argued the bard’s writings showed he held values which would have led him to sympathise with membership of the European Union.

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari on Tuesday, Professor Weis said: "I think Shakespeare would have been a Remainer.

"The only bit of Shakespeare that we have in his own handwriting is Sir Thomas More.

Flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

"It is about Londoners turning on the foreign apprentices and Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More comes out and reminds us of the time that we were all strangers in somebody else's land.

"It fits very well with Shakespeare's takes, open-minded."

It comes amid another week of Brexit turmoil as Boris Johnson is struggling to win support for his Brexit deal in the Commons.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the Prime Minister vowed to pull his Brexit deal and call for an early general election if MPs do not vote for his timetable.

MPs will cast their initial vote on the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) this evening before being asked to back his accelerated timetable to hurry the legislation through Parliament.

But the PM told the Commons that he would “in no way allow months more of this” as he called on MPs to work “night and day” to scrutinise his plans and avoid a no-deal departure.

If MPs fail to back his timetable Brexit could be delayed for several months, subject to the approval of an extension by the EU.

Donald Tusk gave some reassurance to MPs that a requested extension to Article 50 would be treated with “all seriousness” as he consults with EU leaders who could block the move.

“It is obvious that the result of these consultations will very much depend on what the British Parliament decides, or doesn’t decide,” the European Council president said.

“We should be ready for every scenario. But one thing must be clear: as I said to Prime Minister Johnson on Saturday, a no-deal Brexit will never be our decision.”