LABOUR donor and businessman John Mills has criticised Richard Branson’s claim that leaving the EU would be “catastrophic,” branding the Virgin tycoon “completely out of touch.”
The business bust-up came after Mr Branson said on Sunday that Britain’s membership of the “enormous trading bloc” put our economy in a “wonderful situation.”
He even suggested Britain would be better off adopting the euro, claiming: “I think that if we were part of the euro right now our currency would be a lot cheaper.
“Because the pound is a lot stronger than the euro, it makes it more difficult for us.”
But flabbergasted Mr Mills said the economy would have “tanked” if Britain had joined the eurozone when the troubled currency was widely adopted in 1999.
“If we’d gone into the euro at the same time as people like Richard Branson were advocating very strongly that we should, we would now be somewhere between Greece and Portugal,” he told the Star.
“Probably closer to Greece. It would be an absolute disaster.”
The JML entrepreneur, who is also a former Labour councillor and economist, said Mr Branson’s outburst was typical of many business leaders.
He said: “One of the problems about this whole world really is that people who are good at business think they know all about politics and economics.
“By and large, most of them haven’t got the first idea. They are entirely different worlds.”
Mr Mills is a founding member of the Labour for Britain campaign, which advocates withdrawal from the EU if substantial powers are not returned to Britain from Brussels.