Nigel Farage, the most prominent campaigner for Britain to leave the European Union, says he is warming to the idea of a second Brexit referendum.
Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party, said it would silence “once and for all” the voices of those who oppose Britain’s departure from the EU and want it to be stopped.
“The Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises will never ever, ever give up,” he said, referring to prominent “remain” campaigners such as former Prime Minister Tony Blair. “They wil go on whingeing and whining and moaning all the way through this process so maybe, just maybe, I’m reaching the point of just thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership,” Farage told the UK’s Channel 5.
It was the first time since the referendum that Farage has suggested he might support a second vote. Previously he has insisted that the result of the 2016 referendum had to be respected.
“I think if we had a second referendum on EU membership, we’d kill (the issue) off for a generation. The percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger than it was last time round and we may just finish the whole thing off and Blair can disappear off into total obscurity,” he added.
The UK voted to leave the European Union by a 52%-48% margin in 2016. The issue has dominated British politics ever since.
Since the vote, some prominent opponents of Brexit have suggested it should be reversed. Blair, the former leader of the Labour Party, has argued that the electorate were not given a full picture of the consequences of “leaving the largest free trade bloc in the world.” He has argued for voters to be given the opportunity to reconsider once the full details have been determined.
“The people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so,” Blair said at a pro-EU Open Britain event last February.
British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted on Thursday that there would be no second EU referendum. The government “remains very clear: there will not be another EU referendum,” a spokesperson for May told CNN.
CNN’s Nada Bashir contributed to this report in London.