The UK will rejoin the EU within five years after ‘Leave’ voters have “died off”, businessman Sir Richard Branson has said, describing Brexit as “the saddest thing that has ever happened to Europe and what was Great Britain”.
Branson said the Brexit vote was as if “the older group of British people took a gun and shot at their feet” after being misled by Leave campaigners, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
“There was a ghastly, ghastly misrepresentation of reality, a picture was painted that was completely unreal,” he told Irish broadcaster RTÉ.
He said young people “overwhelmingly” want to be part of Europe, and will continue fighting to rejoin the European bloc.
“The older generation is dying off. Whether there’s a second referendum before Brexit happens, I’m sure the Tory party will do their best not to allow that to happen, within five years there will be a government in power in Britain that will ask Europe for a chance for Britain to re-enter,” said the billionaire.
“And because there are so many young people who will be a little older by then, and so many older [people] who voted for Brexit will have died off, I think Britain will become a part of Europe again.”
Branson added that it is a “pity” that so much “time and energy” was expended on Brexit at a time when money could be spent on “much more positive things”.
“Britain was doing really well before the Brexit announcement. Since the Brexit announcement, we’ve dropped to the bottom of all European countries, as far as Brexit is concerned, and this is just a taste of what is going to happen,” he said.
“I think Britain is going to continue sliding down and down. That’s very sad.”
The Virgin Group founder has previously called for a second referendum to give Britain a chance to cast its vote again.
Following the vote, Branson urged parliament to take a second look at the result after expressing deep concerns about the decision to leave the EU.
Earlier this month, the business magnate, whose fortune is estimated to be £3.8 billion by Forbes, revealed that Brexit has cost his business “tens of millions of pounds”.