(Bloomberg) -- A former U.K. Foreign Office minister and ex-deputy secretary-general of the United Nations said cutting ties with the European Union risks a repeat of isolationist mistakes of the past, including Nazi appeasement.
Mark Malloch-Brown, a non-affiliated lawmaker who sits in Parliament’s upper House of Lords, was speaking after financier George Soros, who is funding a campaign to block Brexit, said the EU is having an “existential crisis”. The peer raised Neville Chamberlain’s attempt to reach a deal with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s when he was asked why Britain should stay close to such a troubled organisation.
“Britain’s history as an island nation adjacent to mainland Europe is that when we try to pull away from Europe’s problems and close ourselves off to them they have a horrible habit of infecting us anyway,” Malloch-Brown told BBC Radio 4’s Today show. “Appeasement in the 1930s -- you name it. For centuries Britain has ignored events on continental Europe at its peril.”
Soros is funding Best for Britain, a campaign group chaired by Malloch-Brown, which is pushing for a second referendum on the final divorce deal with the EU.
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