- Michael Bloomberg: Brexit was the “single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from the election of Trump.
- The Bloomberg CEO said Britain had chosen to “ruin itself” in comments made earlier this month.
- The media mogul suggested Brexit had made him regret investing money in London.
LONDON — Brexit is the “single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from the election of President Donald Trump in the US, according to media mogul and former politician Michael Bloomberg.
The former New York Mayor made a number damning remarks about Britain’s decision to leave the European Union at events in Boston and France earlier this month, The Guardian reports.
Bloomberg, who is worth around £36.2 billion ($US47.5 billion) according to Forbes, reportedly said “it is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it,” in reference to last year’s Brexit vote.
Bloomberg was in London on Tuesday to open a European headquarters for Bloomberg. Bloomberg employs 20,000 people worldwide, including 4,000 in the UK.
However, his comments at events in Massachusetts and France, which emerged on the same day as the launch of the new headquarters, suggested he had regrets investing money in the City, as Britain prepares to leave the EU and give up its membership of the single market.
“We are opening a brand new European headquarters in London — two big, expensive buildings. Would I have done it if I knew they were going to drop out? I’ve had some thoughts that maybe I wouldn’t have, but we are there, we are going to be very happy,” the billionaire media mogul told the conference two weeks ago.
“My former wife was a Brit, my daughters have British passports, so we love England — it’s the father of our country, I suppose. But what they are doing is not good and there is no easy way to get out of it because if they don’t pay a penalty, everyone else would drop out. So they can’t get as good of a deal as they had before.
“I did say that I thought it was the single stupidest thing any country has ever done but then we Trumped it.”
Bloomberg reportedly went onto to claim that Brexit had caused some of his UK-based employees to seek a move abroad, and suggested both Brexit Britain and Trump’s US are hostile towards immigrants.
“One of the things that is hurting us both in the United States and in the UK is that we have employees, not a lot but some, who are starting to say: ‘I don’t want to work here — can we transfer to someplace else? This country doesn’t like immigrants,” Bloomberg said.
He added that Bloomberg is actively moving its resources to elsewhere in Europe.
“It is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it,” he said. “It was not a smart thing to do and getting out of it is going to be very difficult and is going to be very painful. It will hurt industries. People are already taking space in other cities over there [Europe], us included.”
Bloomberg considered standing in the 2016 Presidential Election but eventually decided against it, claiming he didn’t want to take votes away from the Democrats and make Trump’s path to the White House easier.
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