Kate Beckinsale attacks Brexit vote at Bafta's LA garden party


Actress Kate Beckinsale has said many Americans believe the UK looks "stupider" than the US after voting to leave the European Union.

The British star said she supported the Remain campaign and "a lot of people" in the film and television industry were unhappy with the referendum result.

She was speaking at the annual Bafta Los Angeles garden party, where British Consul General Chris O'Connor sought to allay fears about what he described as the UK's "conscious uncoupling" with the EU.

Kate Beckinsale

Kate, 42, said she was pleased to hear Mr O'Connor's speech about "the unmentionable" during the event at his private residence.

Asked for her reaction to the Brexit result, Kate told the Press Association: "I was not happy about it. I think a lot of people in this industry aren't happy about it.

"I've heard a lot of Americans say; 'Oh wow, you look stupider than us now'."

Nigel Farage

Kieran Breen, chairman of Bafta LA, insisted the referendum result did not mean "doom and gloom".

"My sense is most Brits I spoke to (living in LA) - maybe particularly because I work in this business - wanted to remain part of (the EU)," he said.

"I've just come back from the UK and it's clear not everyone has the same feeling. It was a great exercise in democracy really, if you want to take something positive out of it.

"Some British productions have enjoyed EU funding and I don't know how that will change. There are many things up in the air right now. That would be one of them.

"I'm not feeling doom and gloom. I don't think suddenly we will fall off a cliff. It will take years to fully negotiate our exit. I think in the short and medium term, you won't notice any substantial changes."

Chris O'Connor, who declined to say which way he voted in the referendum, claimed the debate surrounding the UK's membership of the EU had been "simplified for prime-time media" in the US and many Americans were "surprised" at the result.

British Consul General Chris O'Connor with actress Alicia Vikander

Explaining the UK's decision to leave the EU, he told guests: "I think Gwyneth Paltrow would call it conscious uncoupling from the European Union.

"I know there's a certain of degree of anxiety around what this all means. The answer to a lot of the questions is 'we don't know'.

"The result was close but the result was clear. The British public in a democratic exercise has given us our marching orders and we must implement them as best as we possibly can for the UK.

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson at Brexit HQ

"It will not be a catastrophic collapse of the British economy. Our economy is extremely robust.

"I've heard some people describing this as Britain wanting to turn its back on the world. It's emphatically not that. The European Union is a part of our relationship with our neighbouring countries but it isn't how we define our relationship with the world."