Donald Tusk has said there is a 30% chance Britain won’t leave the European Union.
The president of the European Council said he believed there was such a high chance of Britain remaining in the EU because voters would likely reject Brexit if there was ever a second referendum.
His comments came after Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt said he did not know if Britain would leave the EU, adding it was “never too late” for Britain to remain.
Tusk’s comments came in an interview with a Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza.
He also said the decision by former British prime minister, David Cameron, to hold the referendum was a political miscalculation.
Asked what he thought would happen if there was a second referendum, Tusk, Europe’s most senior official, said he would expect a different result because people had been learned about the consequences of leaving.
“A real debate about the consequences of Brexit wasn’t had during the referendum campaign, but only after the vote,” said Tusk.
“Today the result would probably look different. Paradoxically, Brexit awoke in Great Britain a pro-European movement.”
He added: “After the British referendum in 2016, I thought that if we recognise that the case is closed, it will be the end.
“Today the chance that Brexit will not happen is, in my opinion, 20-30%. That’s a lot.
“From month to month, it is becoming increasingly clear that the UK’s exit from the EU will look completely different than the Brexit that was promoted.
“I see no reason to capitulate.”
Meanwhile Verhofstadt made his comments while campaigning for the Lib Dems in Camden, north London, ahead of European elections later this month.
He later tweeted a picture of himself as he campaigned alongside Lib Dem leader, Vince Cable.
In April, Britain’s membership of the EU was pushed back to October 31 this year.
The UK had been due to leave the bloc on 29 March.
Earlier this week, the British government admitted the UK would take part in European elections later this month, where smaller parties including Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party are expected to do well.