Dragon’s roar at EU scaremongers

Dragon’s roar at EU scaremongers Paphitis blast for In-Out camps


Former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis has accused scaremongering pro-EU campaigners of talking “codswallop”.

The business mogul slammed the Remain camp for warning of dire consequences if the UK voted to leave in the June referendum.  But, he also gave those leading the Brexit side both barrels, saying they had failed to explain what life would be like if Britain went it alone.

Paphitis, who owns high street stationer Ryman and hardware chain Robert Dyas, insisted he had not made up his mind which way to vote.  But he vented his fury at those leading both the In and Out campaigns for not giving the public clear facts.

He said: “I am reasonably well connected, and if I can’t make my mind up, what chance has the man or the woman on the omnibus got?”  The entrepreneur went on: “There is this Project Fear about what will happen if we leave, which is absolute codswallop.

“Then, on the other side, the Leave campaign need to make very clear what they see will happen once we leave, if that’s what we vote to do.”

Paphitis also put the boot into US President Barack Obama after he warned the UK should stay in the EU.  He said: “If ever I was going to be moved one way, it would be opposite to what he is saying.  Coming here and wagging his finger at us, the longest democracy in the world, and saying stay in or otherwise we’ll give you a slap.”

Paphitis’ no-nonsense comments came as he prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of his lingerie firm, Boux Avenue this month.  The chain has 28 UK stores, 12 overseas and contracts to add 80 more abroad on a franchise basis.

Paphitis predicted the brand would make its first profit in the current financial year, from a small loss last year.  It came on the same day department store chain BHS plunged into administration.

Paphitis said: “I don’t know anyone who didn’t see that one coming.  It is very sad but, at the end of the day, you stand or fall on your sales results and having something everyone wants.”

Paphitis also warned trading across the high street had been hit by weak consumer confidence, linked in part to the EU referendum.  “The last few months have been incredibly tough,” he said.

Source; The Mirror, Graham Hiscott, Business Editor, 26 April 2016