Joey Barton: Brexit Campaigners a 'Threat to Humanity'

Burnley footballer Joey Barton.
Joey Barton of Burnley FC in Burnley, May 9. The 33-year-old has come out strongly against Brexit. Jan Kruger/Getty

Premier League footballer Joey Barton has come out against Brexit, describing the idea of abandoning European integration as a "fallacy."

In a series of tweets, Barton, who plays for newly promoted English Premier League side Burnley, voiced his displeasure at those seeking to engineer a departure from the European Union in the referendum on June 23.

"At this moment, I'm probably going to vote In. That's not to say I won't change with more information," Barton wrote on his personal Twitter account on Friday, before expanding upon his arguments in more detail.

I just cannot see how being out helps anybody long term. People are usually better when they think together but not the same. EU has that.

— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) May 20, 2016

The days of empire and island life are long gone. The Internet has made the world closer. We have to keep moving with the times.

— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) May 20, 2016

Voting out as far as I'm concerned today is voting to go backwards. You can only do that if you know the future is broken. And we don't!

— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) May 20, 2016

I would like my children to be part of a healthy and prosperous European collective. Yes, it needs improving. Of course it can be better.

— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) May 20, 2016

Barton finished with a flourish, calling Boris Johnson, the Conservative MP, former mayor of London and prominent Brexit advocate, a "c***", before labelling Johnson, Justice Secretary Michael Gove, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and Leader of the House of Commons Chris Grayling, all campaigners for Brexit, a "one stop threat to humanity shop."

You must always be wary of any group containing Gove, Farage, Boris, IDS and Grayling. Like a one stop threat to humanity shop that mob.

— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) May 20, 2016

Newsweek contacted Vote Leave, the designated lead campaign for a vote for Britain to leave the E.U., but had not received a response by the time of publication.

A UKIP spokesperson said the comment about Farage was a "bit rich from a chap who holds ill discipline records like other[s] have scout badges."

bit rich from a chap who holds ill discipline records like other have scout badges

— Gawain Towler (@GawainTowler) May 20, 2016

Barton, an honorary member of the National Secular Society, has a history of violence. In 2008, he pled guilty to a training-ground assault on his ex-Manchester City teammate Ousmane Dabo, while already serving a six-month jail sentence for an attack in Liverpool at Christmas 2007.

At a Manchester City Christmas party in 2004, Barton shoved a lit cigar in the eye of youth team player Jamie Tandy, leaving the then-teenager in need of hospital treatment.