Richard Branson had strong words to say following the UK’s decision to leave the EU following its Brexit referendum, and now he’s facing the reality that the Virgin Group has lost a third of its value in the last few days alone.
Businesses across the UK, particularly those of the multinational variety, are in a mournful mood following the UK’s decision to go full steam ahead with Brexit following its referendum, and now the Virgin Group is the latest to issue serious grievances.
Speaking this morning, the company’s founder, Richard Branson, made it quite clear that he was personally in favour of the UK remaining in the EU and that, following the public’s decision, he believes the country will likely head towards recession.
3,000 jobs cancelled after vote
According to Reuters, Branson specifically cited his own company, the Virgin Group, which he said lost one-third of its value in the space of just a few days since Thursday’s vote.
Not only that, but Branson also revealed that the company has had to pull out on what he was describing as a “very big” deal to create 3,000 jobs that are now not possible because of Brexit.
“We are heading towards a disaster,” Branson said on Good Morning Britain. “I don’t believe the public realised what a mess their vote would cost.”
He also spoke with The Guardian about discussions he has had with Chinese investors, who have admitted they are to stop investing in the country, despite having contributed significant funding over the last few years.
Calling for a second referendum
“The last two days has been absolute pandemonium worldwide in the markets, the pound crashing, the stock markets crashing, and we are heading rapidly towards a recession again,” Branson said. “It’s just too sad, so, so sad.”
Particularly hit by the plummeting value of the pound following the Brexit announcement was Branson’s Virgin Money bank, which saw shares tumble by 40pc.
Like a number of prominent figures backing the Remain campaign, Branson is now calling on a second referendum to be held now that the realities of the decision have become apparent.
“I think one of the reasons why there should be a second referendum, particularly once the terms are known about what our [exit of] Europe is going to cost us, [is that] the public will then have all the facts,” Branson said.
Richard Branson image via lev radin/Shutterstock