Battling against Brexit

DISASTROUS MISTAKE: For Britain Charlie Mullins believes.

“EVEN Stevie Wonder can see what’s happening,” says Charlie Mullins, who has never been one to mince his words. Speaking exclusively with Euro Weekly News, the brains behind Pimlico Plumbers is adamant that leaving the EU is a disastrous mistake for Britain.

“There’s already a skills shortage and the lack of free movement will drive construction to a standstill,” he replies when pressed on what Brexit’s immediate impact will be.

“You’ve got 80-90 per cent of workers on site are from the EU… and they’re taxpayers too!”

“Now many are returning home, jumping ship because of the uncertainty,” he says, arguing that without migrant labour the Olympics and Heathrow’s expansion would be pipe dreams.

Mullins knows what he’s talking about.

One of the UK’s most successful and outspoken businessmen, he founded Pimlico Plumbers from scratch in 1979 and transformed it into a household name with an annual turnover of £20 million.

Appearances on Panorama, donations to the Conservative party, and impassioned defence of Britain’s place in Europe has seen the businessman and philanthropist evolve into a political activist.

So much so that he helped fund the successful High Court challenge over the government’s right to trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval.

“People are happy that we’re standing up to fight,” he says on the case, which has pitted pro-Brexit media against the judiciary, “even if we leave, we should at least do it right.”

But should the referendum result not supersede the influence of parliament?

“A 52/48 vote wasn’t really the ‘will of the people,’ plus you’ve 650 MPs who didn’t even get involved.”

Mullins is scathing of the Leave campaign, which he accuses of blatant dishonesty.

“People were misled over the £350 million (promised from the EU to the NHS)… the 350 million lie on that bus, and Boris Johnson selfishly trying to become prime minister, did it for the UK.”

He describes the High Court ruling that parliament must trigger Article 50, not ministers alone, as a victory for common sense.

“You’ve got three judges, two of them the highest in the land, and they took less than 120 seconds to sum it up and blow the government’s case out of the water. It’s black and white, in 1972 parliament voted to join the EC and only they can vote to leave.”

Mullins notes with a tinge of irony that the “top two people in the country, Theresa May and Philip Hammond, were Remain people who switched horses after the fact” and are now muddying the waters by trying to make a case they clearly don’t believe in.

So how can you make the ‘remain’ case and change people’s minds?

“Well, you’ve got a mixture of Leave people who are now worried nothing will change and Remainers who are very happy with the court case and don’t want to leave, so it’s hard.”

Mullins says it’s important to focus on simple facts, which he has a keen eye on as a businessman.

“Boiler parts are more expensive, there’s job losses, supplies, food and fuel costs are all going up, the pound’s dropped, the writing’s on the wall.”

He speaks to big business owners he says, and the money flow has stopped. The UK is not a place to be looking to invest.

“Look at the facts,” he implores, “it’s not a coincidence that the pound fell and then rose after the court judgement.”

“The disadvantages of leaving clearly outweigh the benefits, we will be in a mess and we will be poorer.”

Where do British expats fit in to all this? (Mullins spends five months of the year in Spain and is a huge contributor to local charities)

“People are concerned with their pensions, they want to know, can I survive and stay in Spain?

“Now they know they can expect less for their money… people may have voted for Brexit, but nobody voted to lose their money.”

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    • Peter

      11 November 2016 • 09:02

      The leavers were conned. Gullibility seem to be a National trait. Most Brextiteers complain about immigrants, but most flooded in from Pakistan in the 60’s, and were nothing to do with the EU. Our Government went to these countries then, and said, as members of the commonwealth, you can change your passports for UK ones, and come to the UK, we have jobs waiting for you. This was to flood the labour market with cheap labour.

    • lyn

      11 November 2016 • 11:48

      Dont talk a load of tosh….yes we had the 60’s… for christ sake get over it ! that has nothing to do with recent years influx from the EU that Blair opened the doors to, and why is it you have to resort to name calling to try and make your point just because someones opinion differs from yours. But then, again sort of proves a point doesnt it?

    • Peter

      11 November 2016 • 16:17

      When I speak to many Brexitees, one of the most common things they say is, My town is not the same now, its full of…… When I ask when that happened,they think a bit and then say, the 60’s. Therefore the Brexiteers have not got over it.

    • Dan Gleebits

      14 November 2016 • 16:57

      There seems to be a point missed in these threads. Parliament voted by a majority of 6-1 to hold the referendum and to apply the subsequent result. So why is any further vote needed from Parliament?

    • Peter

      14 November 2016 • 18:11

      The point no one really understood was that Government never expected the vote to be to leave, although it was only by a tiny margin. Therefore, like many things they do, they had not thought it through and had no idea what exiting really meant. Neither did many of those who voted. Therefore, they are now running around like headless chickens trying to figure out what to do. If we are not careful and get it all wrong, it will be very damaging for us long term.

    • Dan Gleebits

      15 November 2016 • 10:44

      I agree that the Government post Cameron probably had nothing in place as a plan B from their predecessors (they never do, e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan) but anyone who has been in business will tell you that you do not reveal any of your strategy before you start negotiation (unless you are “reveal” mis information) and this could be why not much is coming out from government sources yet.

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