At an event held by research group ‘UK in a changing Europe’, the former deputy prime minister insisted Brexit must be stopped and refused any suggestion of “easing the passage” of the UK’s divorce from the European Union.
Lord Heseltine reinforced his view that “Brexit is not inevitable” as he vowed to “do anything” he can to stop it.
The outspoken Remaniner said: “I don’t think that people are following the debate of what Brexit actually means, they are fed up and they want change and they’ve got the decision and they’re going to stick with it come hell and high water.
“And this division is throughout society starting with the Cabinet.”
The Remainer Lord suggested it was within Parliament’s power to “exert its authority” as he urged Westminster to thwart Brexit, adding it “has got the responsibility and the opportunity”.
When asked about whether the UK would struggle to rejoin the EU later, Lord Heseltine replied: “The great thing is to try and stop the Brexit.”
Then when pushed about whether the UK should be preparing for the divorce, the arch Remainer replied: “My interest is stopping Brexit, not easing the passage of Brexit or really providing soft cushioning if we have a hard landing.
“I believe Brexit is the most disastrous peace-time decision of the modern age and anything I can do to stop it. Full stop. End of story.”
Lord Heseltine also claimed that the Brexit vote emerged due to “frustration” and “economic difficulties”.
He added: “I think the issues are broadly the same as across Europe and across the Atlantic – people are sick to death of having their living standards frozen and that has been going on for 10 years.
“Donald Trump probably articulates it in a different accent but it is probably the case: we were robbed, we are poor, get off our backs and get the taxes done.
“It is the response to frustration, economic difficulties and the desire for change.
“My principle interest at this moment is to keep alive the thought that Brexit is not inevitable.”