The president of the EU Commission has said he regrets not intervening in the UK’s Brexit referendum to correct “lies” about the bloc during the campaign.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a “big mistake” to listen to David Cameron, who he said had asked Brussels to “stay silent”.

“The mistake I made was to listen too carefully to the British government – Cameron, because the then prime minister asked me not to interfere, not to intervene in the referendum campaign.

“It was a mistake not to intervene and not to interfere because we would have been the only ones to destroy the lies which were circulated around. I was wrong to be silent at an important moment.”