Billionaire investor George Soros has defended his decision to hand £400,000 to an anti-Brexit campaign group and says he considers leaving the EU a "tragic mistake."
Soros came under fire last week after it was revealed he had donated the money, through one of his foundations, to Best for Britain.
The tycoon has now hit back at what he described as "toxic personal criticism" against him, and has denied accusations that he was "undermining democracy."
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said the organisation had his "wholehearted support," and insisted he had never made a secret of his opposition to Brexit.
He said: "The fact that conditions are unsatisfactory does not mean that they can't get worse. That is what has happened in Britain.
"Before the referendum Britain was doing better economically than the rest of Europe. But this has now been reversed, with continental economies powering ahead while Britain lags behind."
Hungarian-born Soros, one of the world's richest men who made a billion dollars betting against sterling on Black Wednesday in 1992, said Britain would "lose much of its global influence" outside Europe as a result of Brexit.
He added: "To make matters worse, the divorce process will preoccupy both Britain and Europe for years ahead, when they should be uniting to resist external enemies like Putin's Russia and resolve the internal contradictions that made some people regard the EU as their enemy."
He also claimed Brexit had turned young against old, saying young people had become disillusioned with democracy after older votes "overruled" them in the referendum.
Declaring himself a "proud supporter" of Best for Britain, he warned that the effect of the uncertainty created by Brexit would become "painfully obvious" in the next six months as negotiations entered the "most contentious phase."
Soros's donation to Best for Britain was first reported in the Daily Telegraph, in a story written by a team including Theresa May's former chief of staff Nick Timothy.