Director Ken Loach reluctantly supports staying in EU


Filmmaker Ken Loach has voiced hesitant support for the UK to remain in the European Union in the upcoming referendum.

The 79-year-old director said the June 23 vote would be a "dangerous, dangerous moment" for the UK as he presented his new film I, Daniel Blake at Cannes international film festival.

Ken Loach, second right, with the film's stars and producers (Thibault Camus/AP/PA)

He said: "The EU, as it stands, is a neo-liberal project. How do we fight it best, within or without?

"On balance, I think we fight it better within and we make alliances with other European left movements. But it's a dangerous, dangerous moment."

His new film I, Daniel Blake follows the story of a former joiner from Newcastle who must struggle through the welfare system after falling ill, where he meets a young single mother preparing to be sent to social housing 300 miles away from her home town.

Ken Loach laughs with Hayley Squires, one of the leads in I, Daniel Blake (Joel Ryan/AP/PA)

Ken warned there was a "conscious cruelty" in the way that people on welfare are now treated, "where the most vulnerable people are told that their poverty is their own fault".

He said: "If you have no work, it's your fault you haven't got a job. Nevermind in Britain, there is mass unemployment throughout Europe."

At a press conference on Friday, he quoted Bertolt Brecht as a filmmaking motto on why he avoided making big-budget, starry productions like new film Money Monster, which also premiered at Cannes.

Ken warned there was a

He said: "I always thought the simplest of words will suffice. When I say what things are like, it will break the hearts of all."

He added: "I think that's what we tried to do because it not only breaks your heart ... it should make you angry."

Ken has had 12 films in competition at the Cannes Film Festival through his career, including his Palme d'Or-winning The Wind That Shakes The Barley.