The founder of clothing brand Superdry has donated £1 million to the People’s Vote campaign.
Julian Dunkerton, 53, made his first political donation after having previously spoken of being a Remainer, and criticising Boris Johnson during the 2016 referendum campaign.
He took a step back from Superdry earlier this year but still has a stake in the business. He 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. Perhaps even more importantly, Europe was our staging post because inside the single market we had no fear of opening a store in France, Germany, Belgium or anywhere else.”
He said he was putting money into the People’s Vote campaign because he felt there was “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”.
His donation will pay for “one of the most detailed polling exercises ever undertaken by a campaign”.
Dunkerton founded Superdry in 2003, but had been selling clothes since the 1980s from a market stall in Cheltenham.
The brand grew to have more than 500 outlets across 46 countries.
Dunkerton sold off a portion of his shares earlier this year, and has also invested £1 million into the sustainable fishing charity the Blue Marine Foundation.
He is thought to be worth arond £441 million.