Brexit: The Movie

Brexit: The Movie is a 2016 British documentary film written and directed by Martin Durkin, advocating for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, commonly called Brexit (a portmanteau of British and exit). The film's production was funded through crowdfunding via Kickstarter.

Brexit: The Movie
Directed byMartin Durkin[1]
Written byMartin Durkin
Wag TV[1]
Release date
11 May 2016
Running time
81 minutes[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom[1]

It premiered in London on 11 May 2016, before being released the following day on YouTube and Vimeo.


Brexit: The Movie was written and directed by Martin Durkin to advocate for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) prior to the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum in June 2016.[4][5] The film was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, with its £100,000 goal having been met with contributions from 1,500 donors by 26 February 2016.[1][6][7]

According to the film's official website, by the end of production, a total of over £300,000 had been raised by over 1,800 contributors.[3] One of the producers of the film David Shipley was convicted of fraud by false representation and received a jail sentence of three years and nine months in February 2020.[8] The fraud occurred in 2014 when he was attempting to find funding for his corporate finance advisory firm Spitfire Capital.[9] The firm provided £50,000 towards the production of the film.[10]


The film was made available for free online streaming on YouTube and Vimeo on 12 May 2016,[2][11] the day after its release and premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London.[12] The film's premiere was organised by Brexit campaign Leave.EU.[5] It was also broken into a twenty six part series published as a YouTube playlist, embedded on the film's official website.[13]


Brexit: The Movie received over 1.5 million views on YouTube by 23 June 2016 (the date of the referendum).[2] The film received mixed reviews from critics. Paul Baldwin writing for The Daily Express, a pro-Brexit newspaper, called it a "powerful" exposure of the lack of accountability within the European Union.[6] Nicholas Dunn-McAfee of the Public Relations and Communications Association commented that the film was "easily digestible" and "witty" but felt that it was a "little too late and a little too stretched".[14]

Newsweek's reviewer noted the film's attempt to market to conservative, anti-establishment audiences, calling it "a libertarian's wet dream of Randian proportions" but criticised alleged inconsistencies in the film.[15] The Huffington Post reviewer felt that relied on ethnic stereotypes and omitted certain perspectives. However also praised the film's persuasiveness, but indicated that it could potentially drive voters to support the UK remaining within the EU.[12] German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, criticised the lack of balance in the film, as it did not feature a single pro-European Union viewpoint.[16]

See also


  1. Haslett, Emma (26 February 2016). "EU referendum: Filmmaker Martin Durkin says "Brexit: The Movie" crowdfunding campaign has hit its £100,000 target". City A.M. City A.M. Limited. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  2. "Brexit: The Movie". Archived from the original on 23 June 2016.
  3. "About the Film". Brexit: The Movie. Wag TV. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016.
  4. Kriss, Sam (12 May 2016). "'Brexit: the Movie' Reveals Why the Upper Classes Are So Excited About the Prospect of Leaving the EU". Vice.
  5. Russell, Andy (9 May 2016). "New feature-length documentary film shows why we must vote for Brexit". The Daily Express.
  6. Baldwin, Paul (12 May 2016). "Watch: Brexit movie reveals how smug Eurocrats have shot our democracy down in flames". The Daily Express. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  7. "Brexit The Movie". Kickstarter. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  8. "'Brexit film' producer jailed for £500k loan application fraud". BBC News. 6 February 2020.
  9. Neate, Rupert (2 November 2018). "Brexit: The Movie producer charged with £500,000 fraud". The Guardian.
  10. Kirk, Tristan (11 March 2019). "Activist behind pro-Brexit movie faces prison after admitting fraud". London Evening Standard.
  11. Brexit: The Movie (Film). 12 May 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  12. Bennett, Owen (12 May 2016). "'Brexit – The Movie' Paints a Thatcherite Dream Of Post-EU Britain". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  13. "Home". Brexit: The Movie. Wag TV. Archived from the original on 18 July 2016.
  14. Dunn-McAfee, Nicholas (12 May 2016). "Brexit: The Movie shows the power of simplifying the story". PRWeek.
  15. Lowe, Josh (12 May 2016). "Brexit: The Movie is a Libertarian's Wet Dream". Newsweek. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  16. Theurer, Marcus (12 May 2016). "Brexit - der Film". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German).