Richard Branson says Virgin has lost third of value after Brexit
Turbulent financial fallout from last week's Brexit vote continued Tuesday with Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson saying his iconic company has lost a third of its value since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.
"We're not any worse than anybody else but I suspect we've lost a third of our value," Branson said Tuesday.
"We are heading towards a disaster. I don't believe the public realized what a mess their vote would cost," Branson said. "This country is going to go into recession. Two of the worst days ever – banks have been pounded means they are not going to lend money, we're going to go into recession."
European leaders, including outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, will meet Tuesday to discuss the U.K.'s exit plan. Germany is leading the charge to start the future without Britain in earnest.
"We will ensure that the negotiations will not be a matter of cherry-picking," Angela Merkel told the German parliament, before travelling to Brussels. "There will be a clear difference whether a country is a member of the European Union or does not want to be a member."
The European Parliament reconvened this week, giving longtime pro-secession Member of European Parliament Nigel Farage a chance to highlight his victory, and lay out his vision for his country's future. Farage is the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, and his clips berating Brussels bureaucrats are popular on YouTube and late night television.
"Things are looking pretty good," Farage said to the Brussels assembly. "The only upheaval is political upheaval, where we've seen a prime minister resign... We may be getting rid of a Labor party leader as well."
Farage said the country was making quick moves to shore up trade alliances post-Brexit.
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"The prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand are now vying for who can be the first country from outside the EU to do a trade deal with the United Kingdom," Farage said.
Farage's comments were unsurprisingly not popular with all in Brussels, the seat of the European Union.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, matter-of-factly asked Farage, "Why are you here?"
"That's the last time you are applauding here... To some extent I am really surprised that you are here," Juncker said to Farage.
Scottish MEP Alyn Smith made the opposite plea as Farage. Scotland, unlike England, voted to stay in the European Union. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon now says a Scottish independence referendum is likely.
"The people of Scotland, along with the people of Northern Ireland and the people of London, and lots and lots of people in Wales and England also, voted to remain within our family of nations....Please, remember this: Scotland, did not let you down. Please, I beg you, chers collègues, do not let Scotland down now," Smith said.