Billionaire and former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg condemns Brexit as “the single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from America electing Donald Trump
As Michael Bloomberg opened a vast new European headquarters in London on Tuesday, The Guardian revealed a series of comments he’d made two weeks ago about Brexit.
In a speech to the HUBweek conference in Boston, Bloomberg condemned the election of Donald Trump but also suggested: “It is really hard to understand why a country [Britain] that was doing so well wanted to ruin it” by voting for Brexit.
Separately, on a previous occasion, this wise man also pointed out: “[Britain] didn’t have an immigration problem and they didn’t need control of their borders. They have the English Channel – that gave them control of their borders.” We join those saluting him.
Mr Bloomberg’s comments in Boston follow:
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.
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 [Brexit] was the single stupidest thing any country has ever done but then we Trumped it.
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 some place else? This country doesn’t like immigrants.’
All this talk in Washington – words have consequences. Whether we change the immigration laws or not, there is general feeling around the world that America is no longer an open, welcoming place and a lot of people don’t want to go there, and the same thing is happening in the UK because of Brexit.
It is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it. 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.