PRO-EU campaigners have urged Nigel Farage to “bring it on” after the former Ukip leader admitted to warming to the idea of a second EU referendum.

The anti-EU MEP suggested another vote would put an end to the "whinging and whining" by opponents of Brexit and would "kill it off" for a generation.

But long-time critics said that while he was "speaking sense" over giving voters another say, he should not be confident of winning a second bout.

Downing Street ruled out a fresh vote on EU membership but bookies cut the odds of a poll in 2019 to 5-1.

Mr Farage, who played a pivotal role in securing the vote to leave the EU, suggested a second vote would draw a line under criticism by key Remainers, such as Tony Blair, Sir Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat former deputy prime minister, and Labour ex-Cabinet minister Lord Adonis.

Appearing on Channel 5's The Wright Stuff, Mr Farage said: "What is for certain is that the Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises will never ever ever give up. They will go on whinging and whining and moaning all the way through this process.

"So maybe, just maybe, I'm reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership...unless you want to have a multiple-choice referendum which would confuse people.

"If we had a second referendum on EU membership, we would kill it off for a generation…and Blair can disappear off into total obscurity."

Businessman Arron Banks, a close ally of Mr Farage who poured funds into Ukip and one of the Leave campaigns, said the vote would have to be re-run.

He tweeted: "Alas we always knew the Tories couldn't be trusted to deliver Brexit. The Cabinet is Solidly Remain & this fight will have to be re-run."

But Lord Adonis said: "So Nigel Farage wants a referendum on Mrs May's Brexit deal. I agree. Bring it on."

Lord Malloch Brown, Chairman of Best for Britain, which opposes Brexit, said: "A second referendum? My message is clear: bring it on.

"This is something that the country needs. Every day we see the disaster of Brexit as we see its impact on our economy, jobs, communities and our society."

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, a leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign for close ties with the EU, said: "For perhaps the first time in his life, Nigel Farage is making a valid point. In a democracy like ours, the British people have every right to keep an open mind about Brexit.

"If the Brexit that is delivered does not match up to the promises of Leave campaigners - with no sign of £350 million extra per week for the NHS but a whopping great divorce bill of £39 billion - then everyone is entitled to ask if this is the right choice for our country."

But Henry Bolton, the current Ukip leader, said: "Ukip policy on a second referendum remains unchanged. The party opposes a second referendum."

Meanwhile, No 10 made clear: “We will not be having a second referendum."