Brexit has been compared by a leading Remain supporter to appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Former Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch-Brown, head of the Best for Britain group, made the comments after billionaire George Soros announced a campaign for a new Brexit referendum is set to be launched.
Mr Soros – who is reported to have given about £500,000 to Best for Britain, which was set up last year by anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller – said action was needed as EU withdrawal was “immensely damaging” for the UK.
Lord Malloch-Brown said Britain needed to stay close to the EU because instances like appeasement showed what happened when the UK tried to shut itself off from the continent.
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He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Britain’s history as an island nation adjacent to mainland Europe is when we try to, sort of, pull away from Europe’s problems and close ourselves off to them they have a horrible habit of infecting us anyway.
“Appeasement in the 1930s, you name it. For centuries Britain has ignored events on continental Europe at its peril.”
He added: “Democracy is a history of u-turns. The day that, you know, Britons just settle back and accept one election victory as the end of democracy – that party is in power forever – is an unlikely moment.
“It is the same with this referendum, it was a referendum on the principle to negotiate a deal for exit. We will soon see the terms of that deal and it’s already evident from the confusion in the government that those terms are going to offer Britain a much less good economic prospect than we currently enjoy.
“I think the British people who have been very badly let down by their politicians on all sides of this then deserve the right to have the final say on is this deal good for us or not.”
Best for Britain, which wants to keep the UK open to EU membership, is expected to publish its campaign manifesto calling for a second referendum on June 8.