Top Conservative donors hit out over fears Brexit 'will never happen'

Posted On: 
12th January 2019

Several leading Conservative donors who gave millions to the Leave campaign have expressed fear that Britain will never leave the European Union.

“My view is that it ain’t going to happen", said donor Crispin Odey.

Speaking to The Times, the donors expressed their concern for the future of Theresa May’s deal and Britain’s exit from the EU.

Millionaire investor Jeremy Hosking, who gave £1.69 million to the Brexit campaign, said he worried that the country would end up with something that was “not a Brexit deal at all”.

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His concerns were echoed by hedge fund manager Crispin Odey and billionaire businessman Terence Mordaunt, who donated over £1 million to the Brexit campaign between them.

Mr Odey said: “My view is that it ain’t going to happen. I just can’t see how it happens with that configuration of parliament.”

Mr Mordaunt meanwhile added: “I don’t think Theresa May’s deal actually fulfils what was promised in the referendum. It will take a long time and it gives a huge amount of power to Europe in the future. We may never get out.”

Peter Hargreaves, the billionaire owner of one of Britain’s largest financial services businesses who gave £3.2 million to the campaign, admitted that he had “totally given up” on the party.

The businessman, who is not a Conservative donor but backed the push to leave the EU, said: “I am totally in despair, I don’t think Brexit will happen at all.

“[The pro-Europeans] are banking on the fact that people are so fed up with it that they will just say ‘Sod it, we’ll stay’. The problem is when something doesn’t happen for so long you feel less angry about it.”

Their comments come ahead of the meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal this Tuesday, with many ministers bracing themselves for a hefty defeat in the Commons.

Several Conservative MPs have expressed their concern at the risks of leaving the EU without a deal, with Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley warning that a no-deal exit could lead to a “feeling of unrest”.

Former attorney-general Dominic Grieve, who tabled the amendment that led to a second government defeat on Brexit, has meanwhile urged the government to delay Brexit if the deal is rejected.