Sir Richard was a staunch supporter of Remain earlier than the 2016 referendum, and warned throughout withdrawal negotiations with the EU that his curiosity in Britain would dwindle exterior the bloc. Speaking to the South China Morning Post in 2017, the self-made billionaire mentioned investing in a rustic that was harming itself “doesn’t make sense”. Sir Richard added: “It doesn’t make sense to spend money on a rustic that’s going to self-inflict itself, and there are many different alternatives around the globe.
“We’ll stick with it investing within the UK however we received’t be investing as a lot if Brexit goes forward.”
The entrepreneur made the damning assertion a day earlier than arriving in Hong Kong on an inaugural Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne.
Sir Richard’s frustration threatened to have a huge impact on the UK financial system as his Virgin-branded companies are large employers, taxpayers and stand as symbols of Britain’s self-made entrepreneurship.
He claimed that his companies, from airways to well being and monetary providers, had misplaced a few third of their worth within the one 12 months within the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
Sir Richard additionally mentioned he was additionally prepared to guess that the tide would activate Britain’s opposition to the EU inside 10 years with out the necessity for a second referendum.
He even predicted the UK would rejoin the EU in that point.
He added: “I might be prepared to forecast that in the event that they proceed with out permitting a second referendum, inside 10 years Britain can be again within the European Union once more.
“Lots of people my age can have died out and younger individuals will overwhelmingly realise what a mistake was made and they’ll vote to hitch the European Union once more.
The tycoon added that scrapping Brexit would ship “the pound hovering and get commerce again up”.
He claimed: “With Brexit, the alternatives are dreadful, fairly dreadful and stay. A tough Brexit will devastate Britain and jobs.
“A softer Brexit will nonetheless be devastating however most corporations will survive it, so long as it doesn’t result in no deal.”
When approached by Express.co.uk, a Virgin Group spokesperson mentioned: “Since 2015, Virgin Group has continued to take a position considerably in its companies within the UK and throughout the globe.
“Investments within the UK embrace £75million into Virgin Care, cash which has gone straight in direction of supporting entrance line NHS providers, paying the salaries of medical doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.
“Not a penny of revenue has ever been taken from the NHS, nor will it ever be. Significant assist has additionally been given to Virgin StartUp, which is a not-for-profit, supporting greater than 3,000 entrepreneurs up to now in beginning and scaling their companies.
“In addition, Virgin Group has dedicated $250million to assist Virgin companies and shield jobs underneath risk from the worldwide pandemic – a big proportion of this can be invested into UK corporations akin to Virgin Atlantic.”