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Dalai Lama shares his views on Brexit, saying UK should have voted Remain

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 27/06/2019 Megan White
14th Dalai Lama wearing glasses and looking at the camera © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

The Dalai Lama has delivered his opinion on Brexit, saying he believes the UK should have voted to remain in Europe.

In an interview with the BBC's South Asia Correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan at the Dalai Lama's residence in northern India, the spiritual leader was asked his views on the EU referendum.

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Sharing his opinion on Brexit, he said that despite being an outsider, he believed that it is better to remain in the European Union as he was an admirer of the bloc's "spirit."

He said: “I am one admirer of the spirit of the European Union.

"I’m an outsider, but I feel it is better to remain in the union.

He had previously distanced himself from the Leave campaign after they used one of his quotes on a poster.

It said: “The goal should be that migrants return and help rebuild their countries.

“You have to be practical. It’s impossible for everyone to come.”

14th Dalai Lama wearing glasses: File photo: The Dalai Lama says it is better for Britain to remain in the EU (EPA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited File photo: The Dalai Lama says it is better for Britain to remain in the EU (EPA)

When quizzed about the poster, which he did not give permission for and previously distanced himself from, he responded: “The European countries should take these refugees and give them an education and training, and then aiming to return to their own land.

He said a “limited number” should be able to stay in Europe but added “the whole of Europe become a Muslim country? Impossible. Or African country, also impossible.

“They themselves I think better to their own land. Keep Europe for Europeans.”

Last September, the Dalai Lama said Europe was "morally responsible" to help refugees facing danger.

But he sparked anger when he said they should return home to "develop their own country."

He was speaking at a conference in Malmo, Sweden, when he made the controversial comments.

In 2016, he told a German newspaper that there were "too many refugees" in Europe, adding "Germany cannot become an Arab country."

In the BBC interview, he also said Donald Trump showed a "lack of moral principle."

The 14th Dalai Lama spoke about President Trump, saying America should take “global responsibility.”

He added: “His emotions are a little bit too complicated.

“One day he says something, another day he says something, but I think there’s a lack of moral principle.

“When he became president, he expressed ‘America first’ – that is wrong.”

Traditionally the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama has lived in India since China occupied the Himalayan state in 1950.

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