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    Chief Executive Officer of Irish airline Ryanair Michael O'Leary poses with his company's logo projected on his face as he attends a press conference at a hotel in London on August 31, 2016.

    'Arrogant Nonsense': Ryanair Boss Says EU Will 'Screw' UK in Post-Brexit Deal

    © AFP 2019 / Daniel Leal-Olivas
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    The UK government has no idea what Brexit will actually look like and will be absolutely "screwed" in negotiations with the EU, the CEO of low-cost airline Ryanair has said.

    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.

    ​"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.

    ​"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."

    Businesses Could Leave Post-Brexit Britain

    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.

    ​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.

    Related:

    Ryanair Takes Off to Europe as Brexit Brings Business Turbulence
    With Brexit Coming, European Cities Step Up London Financial Charm Offensive
    UK Business Confidence Hits Four-Year Low After Brexit Vote
    Most UK Companies Expect Brexit to Have Negative Impact on Business
    Tags:
    business confidence, trade deal, relocation, negotiations, Britain's EU referendum, Brexit, British Conservative Party, Ryanair, European Union, Michael O'Leary, Great Britain, Europe, United Kingdom
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