To be fair to David Beckham, he is at least slightly higher profile than some of the other ‘stars’ from the football world who have had their say on Brexit. And Michael Gove didn’t sound convincing when he traded off the news that ‘Becks’ had backed ‘Remain’ by saying John Barnes and Sol Campbell had done the opposite.
In a post this morning, Beckham spelt out his reasons for wanting Britain to stay in the EU by suggesting he wants to ‘live in a vibrant and connected world where together as a people we are strong’. That kind of rhetoric, whilst apparently noble, tells us little. People from both sides of the debate are after the same, whether they want Britain to leave the EU or not. And to say otherwise is a misguided attempt to try and place the moral argument on the ‘Remain’ side.
Where Beckham falls short on that part of the argument, he also hardly convinces on his footballing reasons for wanting Britain to stay in Europe. Pointing to the success enjoyed by the Manchester United team he was a part of, Beckham says:
‘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.’
But what about those players from outside the European Union who formed a key part of the squad? Take Manchester United’s treble-winning side from 1998-1999: the top scorer that season? Dwight Yorke, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago. And what about the third top scorer in the United side that season? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is from Norway, a country which has never been a part of the EU.