Britain’s EU exit will be catastrophic: Branson - CNBC Africa

Britain’s EU exit will be catastrophic: Branson

Special Report

by Trust Matsilele 0

Sir Richard Branson says a British exit from the E.U. will bring severe financial consequences. PHOTO:

Britain will hold a referendum in less than 24 hours that will decide if the country should stay in the European Union or exit. Leading political and business figures including former Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and John Major are some campaigning to stay.

The Brexit referendum has also seen rivals, David Cameron and Jeremy Corbin uniting to offer a unanimous voice on remaining in the Union.

Sir Richard Branson said the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union was unfortunate.

“There are few occasions in your life where you can see something going horribly wrong and this is one of those occasions,” he said.

“If a wrong decision is made, it will do irreparable damage to both Great Britain and to Europe and that’s why we should all speak out and make sure the right decision is made,” Branson, founder of Virgin Group added.

“I am one of the few business people who are still going who knows what it was to do business before the European Union was formed.In those days, I couldn’t move my people between Britain and Europe without visas and months of seeking permission.”

Branson said doing business before the EU cost him 35 per cent in tax and enormous bureaucratic strain.

He says, due to the EU regime, his company has managed to get access to 500 million customers.

“Now we have the European Union and all those barriers have disappeared. We have become accustomed to these freedoms and people forget the wonderful things the EU has brought,” lamented Branson.

“The EU was formed to ensure we have a trading bloc without walls, and if we were to give this up this is going to be catastrophic."

Branson says, as far as Great Britain was concerned, exiting the EU would be a great financial disaster.