EU Council chief: Brexit can be reversed if UK wants
Brussels: Brexit could still be avoided if UK citizens changed their minds and decided they did not want their country to leave the European Union, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.
Taking to Twitter, Tusk said Europe had never had a change of heart and was still open to the UK, following many calls from within the UK to hold a second referendum on the country's future within the bloc, Efe news agency reported.
"Unless there is a change of heart among our British friends, Brexit will become a reality -- with all its negative consequences -- in March next year," he said.
In his first speech of the year to the European Parliament, he said David Davis, chief Brexit negotiator for the UK, had himself said that if a democracy could not change its mind, it stopped being a democracy.
His statements were made amid a new wave of outrage among pro-Remain Britons, who were reacting to an interview by Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, who on Monday said his famous claim that Brexit could see 350 million pounds ($483 million) pumped weekly into the British economy was too low an estimate.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian newspaper, Johnson said up to 438 million pounds could actually be made every week in the UK once Brexit was finalised, a figure even higher than his original prediction that had been emblazoned on campaign buses and disproved by experts.
"He sold Brexit on a false prospectus and with the NHS in crisis people are rightly asking where is the money and if it's not forthcoming they should have the right to change their mind. The man is a snake oil salesman," said Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain, an organisation trying to fight Brexit.
The calls for a second referendum on the country's imminent departure from the EU have grown, and even Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, whose main goal was Brexit, has said that a new vote would be useful.
Farage argued on Thursday that another Brexit referendum would reinforce the pro-Leave position in a country split in half, but Remain backers said support for their position had grown and welcomed a call they believed could halt Brexit.