Billionaire globalist founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson expresses his disappointment with the Brexit vote in an interview with David Rubenstein in the latest episode of “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations”.
Branson told Rubenstein that Brexit is “the saddest thing that’s happened” to Britain and many people were misled.
Branson noted that if another vote were to take place, he believes the ‘stay’ vote would win.
Meanwhile Theresa May’s Brexit options are narrowing by the day, after the European Union publicly tore up her cornerstone customs plan.
In a very blunt public statement, chief EU/Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he will never accept Theresa May’s plan for customs after Brexit. Barnier said the EU will never let a non-member collect its tariffs.
— Bloomberg Brexit (@Brexit) July 29, 2018
According to Bloomberg, the European Union rejected a key part of her proposal for a trade deal with the bloc on Thursday, sending her back to the drawing board with just 12 weeks to go until a divorce deal is meant to be signed.
May thought her customs proposal was the best hope of getting a Brexit deal she could also sell to a divided Parliament in London. But in a blunt and public critique, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said he will never accept her plan.
Now, she’s boxed in, with all options bringing the risk of her being ousted, and increasing the chances of Britain tumbling out of the bloc with no deal at all.
Barnier even suggested one way out of the impasse would be for the U.K. to stay inside the EU customs union, though that would enrage parts of her Conservative Party and mean May having to renege on her repeated promises to leave it.
“I have always said the EU is open to a customs union,” Barnier told reporters as he stood next to U.K. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab in Brussels in the first full news conference the two have held since the minister took over from David Davis on July 9.
Staying inside such an arrangement is the official policy of the U.K.’s main opposition Labour Party, and is favored by the pro-EU members of May’s party who have rebelled against her. That makes Barnier’s suggestion particularly provocative.
On July 12, May put forward a model under which the U.K. would collect the EU’s tariffs on goods entering the country, as part of a plan to keep trade with the bloc flowing freely after the split. But Barnier said the EU would never allow a non-member to collect its tariffs.
Both May and the EU have stressed that they want to finalize a Brexit deal in October to give the U.K. and European parliaments time to approve it before Britain’s departure from the EU eight months from now.