- Julian Dunkerton, the cofounder of fashion brand Superdry, is donating £1 million to the People’s Vote campaign.
- The UK campaign group is calling for a second referendum on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. It wants Brits to be given the option to remain in the EU if they don’t like the terms offered.
- The campaign is gathering momentum as the chances of a “no deal” Brexit increase.
LONDON — The British millionaire founder of clothing brand Superdry is donating £1 million to a group trying to secure a second referendum on the UK’s final Brexit deal.
Julian Dunkerton is donating the sum to campaign group the People’s Vote, according to the Observer. The People’s Vote is a campaign group set up in April 2018 calling for a vote on the final terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. The group was set up by campaigners and MPs from across the political spectrum. It is led by Labour MP Chuka Umunna.
Dunkerton told the Observer: “I’m putting some of my money behind the People’s Vote campaign because we have a genuine chance to turn this around.
“It’s becoming clear there is no vision for Brexit and the politicians have made a mess of it. Increasingly, the public knows that Brexit is going to be a disaster. Maybe they just need to be given that little bit of hope that comes when they see how opinion is moving.”
The deadline for Britain leaving the EU is March 2019 and it is looking increasingly likely that Britain will crash out of the bloc without any agreement on future trading relations. Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox warned in recent weeks that the likelihood of a “no deal” scenario has risen to 60% and it emerged this week that the government is drawing up emergency plans for what to do if this is the case.
The People’s Vote wants Brits to be given a vote on the final terms of Britain’s exit from the EU, with the option to remain in the bloc if the public decides that the plan for leaving isn’t good enough.
Dunkerton’s donation will fund “one of the most detailed polling exercises ever undertaken by a campaign,” he told the Observer. The polling will look at whether there is an appetite for a second vote across the UK. YouGov polling earlier this month found 45% of people support a People’s Vote on the final deal, while 34% do not.
Dunkerton cofounded Superdry in Cheltenham, England, in 2003 and floated the business on the London stock exchange in 2010. Superdry has a market value of over £900 million and had sales of £752 million in 2017. Dunkerton left the business earlier this year but is still the largest single shareholder, with a stake of just over 18%. The Telegraph estimated his net worth earlier this year at £350 million.
Dunkerton told the Observer: “If Brexit had happened 20 years earlier, Superdry would never have become the global success that it did. We would have struggled to cope with negotiating customs and tariffs.”