What would happen if the UK held another referendum over its membership over the European Union on Friday 23 June, a year after the Brexit vote? Remain campaigner Nick Clegg refused to be drawn on a firm prediction when IBTimes UK asked him that question on Thursday evening.

The former deputy prime minister, who lost his Sheffield Hallam seat at the general election, joked that every prediction he had made over the last decade had been wrong.

But the ex-Liberal Democrat leader said he hoped the UK would "resoundingly" back staying in the economic and political bloc.

"The only thing that I do think is obvious now is that there has thankfully been a real mobilisation of young people, which is great, fantastic," Clegg said.

"I think Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto is one of the most cynical manifestos, but he has become a rallying point for many, many young people. I really hope that it will provide balance to this terrible incentive that all politicians of all parties should appeal to older voters at the cost of young people.

It's very ironic that lots of young people have rallied to Corbyn's standard even though his manifesto is almost indistinguishable from Theresa May when it comes to Brexit. Many young voters clearly think that he's the new messiah.

He added: "It's now pretty widely understood by the public that the most notable [Vote Leave] claim – £350m a week for the NHS – is a lie. And, crucially, it would have dawned on voters that this is more complex, more painful, more lengthy and economically more harmful than they thought. I would, of course, hope that the vote would be a resounding result to stay in."

The comments came after Clegg delivered the annual Lord Garden memorial lecture at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in central London.

Clegg used the speech to attack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and fellow Brexit campaigner Daniel Hannan, the Conservative MEP for the south east of England.

Vote leave bus
Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Douglas Carswell address the people of Stafford in Market Square during the Vote Leave Brexit Battle Bus campaignGetty

"The Johnson and Hannan view of our place in the world is as a swashbuckling nation which can duck and weave if it weren't held back by others," he said.

"This seductive idea - that we can recapture the imperial reach of the past by throwing off the shackles of multilateralism - is a dangerous illusion.

"They, and other critics of the European Union, like to claim that the EU is part of the past. Instead they talk up a future in which a "global Britain", unencumbered by EU membership, is the future.

"In truth, it's exactly the other way round: "global Britain" is in fact a euphemism for imperial nostalgia; while pooling sovereignty in our own hemisphere is the only way to influence those aspects of the modern world, from terrorism to trade, from climate change to fisheries, which cross borders."

The address was delivered just days after the two-year-long negotiations between the EU and UK began.

The Conservatives have promised to end free movement of EU nationals to the UK, seek a bespoke customs deal so that Britain can broker its own trade deals and no longer maintain the UK's full access to the EU's single-market. Such a position has been branded a "hard Brexit".

But May and the Tories took a considerable blow at the election, when their majority of MPs in the House of Commons was stripped. The prime minister has since limped on and is still in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party in a bid to form a "confidence and supply" alliance.

The latest opinion poll from Survation, of more than 1,000 people between 16 and 17 June, found 57% of respondents opposed a second EU referendum, while 38% of voters backed the idea of another plebiscite. Survation came closest to predicting the hung parliament after the recent general election.