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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Superdry co-founder gives £1 million to campaign for second Brexit vote

The number of Britons supporting a second vote on Brexit has increased in recent months

The number of Britons supporting a second vote on Brexit has increased in recent months. Brexit secretary Dominic Raab leaves 10 Downing Street.  EPA/RICK FINDLER
The number of Britons supporting a second vote on Brexit has increased in recent months. Brexit secretary Dominic Raab leaves 10 Downing Street.  EPA/RICK FINDLER

The co-founder of fashion brand Superdry is donating £1 million (Dh4.7m) to the campaign for a referendum on the final Brexit agreement as the British government attempts to outline in more detail how a no-deal departure from the European Union would work.

"I'm putting some of my money behind the People's Vote campaign because we have a genuine chance to turn this around," said Julian Dunkerton, who opposes Britain leaving the EU.

"I’ve got a good instinct for when a mood is going to change, and we’re in one of those moments now," he said in comments reported by British media outlets.

Britons voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the EU by roughly 52 per cent to 48 per cent, but in July polls the proportion of voters who favour a referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal overtook those who do not for the first time.

Britain's Brexit minister Dominic Raab will travel to Brussels on Tuesday in a bid to pick up the pace of talks with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Prime Minister Theresa May's office said on Saturday.

On Thursday, Britain will publish the first of a series of technical notices designed to help people and businesses prepare for a no-deal scenario, and Mr Raab will outline how the government plans to mitigate against risks.

"Securing a deal is still by far the most likely outcome, but we want to make sure that we clearly set out the steps that people, businesses and public services need to take in the unlikely event that we don’t reach an agreement," said Mr Raab.

Britain said it has been undertaking work on a no-deal scenario for almost two years with nearly £4bn allocated by the Exchequer.

London and Brussels hope to agree a Brexit deal at a summit in October, but Mrs May faces splits within her Conservative party and the task of securing parliamentary approval for the final agreement, as she tries to defeat rebels.

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Campaigners on both sides of the argument have been stepping up their efforts in recent weeks, as some Brexiteers argue against any agreement which keeps Britain tied to EU mechanisms such as the customs union or single market.

On Saturday, MEP and the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party Nigel Farage said he would join a "battle bus" tour around the country by a pro-Brexit group which is opposed to Mrs May's plans.

The government is planning to recognise some EU regulations if London and Brussels fail to strike a deal, taking a "flexible" approach to make sure medicines, car parts and chemicals are still available, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

But just days after a car hit pedestrians and police officers outside Britain's parliament, junior defence minister Tobias Ellwood said military and security cooperation should not be up for debate with the EU.

"Let the Brexit talks continue – but European security should be unconditional," he said.

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