The staunch Remainer indicated people voted Brexit due to the “squeeze” that followed the 2008 financial crisis and voters feeling they were “not being looked after”.
The former deputy prime minister likened the Brexit result to President Donald Trump’s success in the US election, singling out “old industrial areas” that had felt prosperity disappear.
Speaking on LBC, the 84-year-old suggested Britain was swimming against the tide and the US, Commonwealth and Europeans wanted the UK to remain a member of the bloc.
“We’ve got rid of the fascists in Spain and Portugal, we’ve got rid of the Colonels in Greece and all those countries now want to remain in this great accumulation of democratic countries, but not us,” he said.
Lord Heseltine blamed the Brexit vote on the 2008 financial crash
It was the feeling that prosperity had moved away from the old industrial areas
“The lack of influence that will flow, the Americans want us in Europe because we can talk about transatlantic values, the Commonwealth wants us in Europe because we can then do something to try and help the Commonwealth interest and the Europeans want us in Europe because they know we are a critical feature of balancing the Franco-German partnership.”
Put to him the majority of British people did not want to be in the European Union, Lord Heseltine said he did not believe that to be true.
He said: “No, I’m not sure that’s true you see. Look, exactly what happened in the referendum, happened in America with Donald Trump.
“It was the feeling that prosperity had moved away from the old industrial areas. It was the squeeze that followed the 2008 crash.
Brexit: Results of how the UK voted Mon, March 20, 2017
Much of the North East of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union including Sunderland, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and Northumberland
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GREAT YARMOUTH: The town of Great Yarmouth on the East Coast of England voted by 72% to leave the European Union.
“It was as referenda always are, they start off with a clear view but it was quite obvious to me that actually it was the old argument that we’re not being looked after, no one listens, no one comes here and the economy’s in a bad way.”
Lord Heseltine also said an EU trade deal would be down to the “good will” of German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Theresa May will trigger Article 50 and begin Britain's historic departure from the EU on March 29.