Taking aim at the Brexiteers in UK Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet, Ryaniar boss Michael O'Leary said the government was not settled on a plan of what post-Brexit approach it would like to take, describing talk of the UK securing a favorable trade deal with the EU as "arrogant nonsense."
"I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how 'the world will want to trade with us'. The world will want to screw you — that's what happens in trade talks," he said.
Michael O'Leary Candid & straight forward as usual, agree 100% with his views that the UK Gov haven't a clue about the outcome of #Brexit— Naldo Morelli (@Naldo_Morelli) September 20, 2016
"They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade."
'They Won't Make it Easy'
The Ryanair boss made the comments during a press event in Belfast, noting that he himself was unsure about what impact Brexit will have on the company's British operations.
"Nobody in the airline industry knows what the outcome of Brexit is, which puts us in exactly the same situation as most of the cabinet of the government of the UK, since they haven't a clue either," the prominent Remain campaigner said.
Ryanair's Michael O'Leary "we have seen a significant impact after Brexit" pic.twitter.com/IItjCmrzJQ— David Murphy (@davidmurphyRTE) September 1, 2016
"The European Union is not going to make it easy for the UK. All this kind of arrogant nonsense in London — 'We're the fifth biggest economy in the world, they'll give a good deal'.
"They won't. The European countries are paranoid about being seen to be tough on the UK, because if they are not tough on the UK, the right-wing parties in most of those countries — in Germany, in France, in Holland — will be next.
"Why would you be a member of the European Union if you can have control over your borders? You wouldn't. So if the UK gets a good deal, the European Union breaks up, and they care less about the UK than they do about protecting and keeping the European Union together."
The comments come as a number of big businesses have expressed concerns about their UK investments and operations following the country's decision to leave the EU.
Ryanair itself announced that it would "pivot" growth away from the UK and instead focus on European hubs, announcing the closure of two routes from the City of Derry airport in Northern Ireland.
Ryanair boss, Michael O'Leary, says all his 50 new planes will be based OUTSIDE the UK because of Brexit uncertainty— samana haq (@samhaqitv) September 7, 2016
Telecommunications giant Vodafone, which hires 13,000 people in Britain, also warned it could relocate its head office from the UK if the country isn't successful in securing a favorable trade deal with the EU.
A number of British and US banks have also sounded warnings that they could shift operations elsewhere in light of the Brexit vote, with European cities such as Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin looking to cash in on any post-Brexit jitters within the finance industry.