Brexit has cost UK growth, admits Johnson

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Government brexit Legislation Eu Europe Luke johnson Economy

Luke Johnson admits Brexit has cost UK
Hospitality entrepreneur and leave campaigner Luke Johnson has admitted that Brexit has cost the UK economy growth.

Speaking during a panel discussion on the current UK economic situation on Radio 4’s The Today programme, he said the situation was a “disappointment”.

Presenter Amol Rajan asked the former Pizza Express owner and Patisserie Valerie chairman: “Brexit may create opportunities in the medium and long term, but in the short term, some have argued it creates uncertainty and friction for business. Do you agree with the assessment that Brexit has cost us growth?”

Johnson replied: “Probably yes, and that’s a disappointment, I think however if we spent our lives punishing ourselves and refighting the last war over Brexit we’re not going to make progress.”

Johnson was a vocal supporter for Brexit saying the decision to leave the EU would see British businesses prosper in the new environment.

However, he attacked the idea that the decision to leave had impacted on the number of foreign workers in the country, despite many hospitality businesses reporting severe recruitment challenges.

He said: “It’s interesting to see that actually 6.3m foreign workers are now in our workforce, the highest ever so it’s something of a myth that all the workers have gone back to Europe. Obviously some have, but I don’t think that as it happens is what’s holding us back.”

He agreed that Brexit had caused problems for trade at the moment, but remained confident the problems could be overcome. “I think there are real problems around imports and exports and I hope we can introduce new liberalising laws that will mean we can take advantage of being outside the EU.”

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