Sunday Observer - - NEWS -

LON­DON - Two of the big­gest donors to the Brexit cam­paign say they now believe the project they cham­pi­oned will even­tu­ally be aban­doned by the gov­ern­ment and the United King­dom will stay in the Euro­pean Union (EU).

Pe­ter Har­g­reaves, the bil­lion­aire who was the sec­ond big­gest donor to the 2016 leave cam­paign, and vet­eran Hedge Fund Man­ager Crispin Odey told Reuters they ex­pect Bri­tain to stay in the EU de­spite their cam­paign vic­tory in the 2016 ref­er­en­dum.

As a re­sult, Odey, who runs hedge fund Odey As­set Man­age­ment, said he is now po­si­tion­ing for the pound to strengthen af­ter his flag­ship fund pre­vi­ously reaped the ben­e­fit of bet­ting against UK as­sets, amid wider mar­ket fears about the im­pact of Brexit.

The donors’ pes­simism comes amid dead­lock in Bri­tain’s Par­lia­ment over the exit deal that Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has struck with the EU, which has cast sig­nif­i­cant uncer­tainty over how, or even if, Brexit will hap­pen.

Har­g­reaves, who amassed his for­tune from co-found­ing fund su­per- mar­ket Har­g­reaves Lans­down, said the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment were de­ter­mined to scut­tle Brexit and this would lead to a gen­er­a­tion of distrust of Bri­tain’s po­lit­i­cal classes.

The gov­ern­ment, he said, is likely to first ask for an ex­ten­sion to the for­mal exit process from the EU and then call for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

“I have to­tally given up. I am to­tally in de­spair, I don’t think Brexit will hap­pen at all,” said Har­g­reaves (72), who is one of Bri­tain’s wealth­i­est men and do­nated US$4 mil­lion to the left cam­paign.

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