EU's Brexit opposition fuelling far-right, Dominic Raab warns

Aubrey Allegretti, political reporter

EU leaders are fuelling a rise of the far-right because of their refusal to accept democratic decisions like Brexit, Dominic Raab has warned.

The Brexit secretary accused senior figures in Brussels of boosting fringe and populist movements across the continent.

He was hitting back at French President Emmanuel Macron, who at this week's Salzburg summit accused senior Leave campaigners of lying during the 2016 referendum campaign.

"I think that's not the kind of language of either statesmanship or friendship, particularly at a summit," Mr Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"If someone wants to point out something that I've said which is a lie, feel free to do so but I don't accept that."

He added: "One thing that I would say though is that the EU has a habit of spurning democratic votes, whether in referendums in this country - and they're trying to do that to some degree - or the rest of the EU.

"And one of the things that does is give rise to extremism and fringe politics and all the anti-elitism which we're seeing fuelling populist movements across continental Europe, is this idea that when the people have their say, they're sent back to the drawing board because the elite in Europe don’t like the answer."

Populist movements have surged in countries like Italy, where the Five Star movement are in government.

Far-right parties have also seen a surge in Sweden and Germany, where the Swedish Democrats and Alternative for Germany (AfD) are the third largest parties, respectively.

EU leaders have repeatedly said Britain could revoke its decision to quit the EU, prompting anger from some Brexit campaigners.

They also sparked criticism in 2009, after a referendum in Ireland on adopting the Lisbon Treaty was defeated, only to be followed by another vote the following year.

Theresa May has insisted there will be no new referendum on the final Brexit deal, and that Britain will leave the EU on 29 March 2019.