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Brexit is a ‘complete disaster’ and ‘total lies’, says Tory business boss | Business

Guy Hands, a leading figure in the City, called Brexit a “total disaster” and a “lot of total lies” that have hurt a large part of the economy.

Speaking of the third anniversary of the UK’s exit from the EU, Hands, founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Terra Firma, a private equity firm, said: “It was a disaster. The reality is that it was a lose-lose situation for us and for Europe. Europe lost more [in financial services] but we also lost. And the reality of Brexit was just a bunch of complete and total lies.

“The only way Boris Johnson’s Brexit is going to work is if there’s a total deregulation of the UK and we go into a sort of Liz Truss utopia about a Singaporean state, and that’s just never going to happen.” Hands, a former Conservative Party donor, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

“The British population was never going to put up with a state in which the National Health Service would be destroyed, where free education would be severely limited, where the regulation of employment would be severed. It was just a complete and utter lie.”

He added: “The biggest problem with this, and you can take the Brexit bus as a good example, is the lies that Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party have told about the NHS. In fact, they threw the country and the National Health Service under the bus.”

Guy Hands, founder of Terra Firma Capital Partners
Guy Hands founded Terra Firma, a private equity firm. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

According to opinion poll expert John Curtis, on average polls now show that 57% of UK residents would vote for reunification with the EU.

Eddie Truell, City veteran and ardent Brexit supporter who founded private equity firm Duke Street Capital and is a co-founder. from the Pensions Insurance Corporation, expressed disappointment at the pace of deregulation in the UK’s financial services sector.

“I was hoping we would see faster deregulation than we had,” he said, also speaking on Today. “We saw a huge positive explosion in the City after the big bang in the 1980s: I was hoping we would see the same thing.”

He said the UK has the largest financial services trade surplus in the world at $87 billion, up 10% from 2020. “The UK’s trade surplus in financial services has huge implications for the UK. The rest of the economy benefits from financial services,” he said.

“Leaving the EU did mean that it became much easier for financial services to trade with other countries outside the EU. It was a loss in my opinion,” Truell said. “The EU has probably lost much more by failing to reach proper financial services agreements, but the UK has clearly not won either. But in general, the city has managed to direct its exports to other parts of the world, especially the US, Singapore, Switzerland, etc.”

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