Brexit 'will leave UK better off than EU nations,' says German publisher

'In three to five years from now, my bet would be that England will be better off than continental Europe'

David Hughes
Tuesday 27 September 2016 02:56
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Mathias Doepfner, CEO of German publisher Axel Springer
Mathias Doepfner, CEO of German publisher Axel Springer

Brexit could leave the country better off than its former European Union partners, a leading German businessman has suggested.

Mathias Doepfner, chief executive of publishing giant Axel Springer, said he could see the UK adopting a “more free market-oriented model” which could be a “highly attractive” alternative to the EU economy.

He told the Financial Times that Britain was bound to experience short-term pain as a consequence of its 23 June vote to quit the EU, “but in three to five years from now, my bet would be that England will be better off than continental Europe”.

The short-term effects of Brexit would include currency fluctuations and turbulence in the property market, he suggested.

But the UK would be free to implement a “very healthy”, “talent-oriented” immigration policy once outside the EU.

“You basically integrate and invite the people that you benefit from and not people who only benefit from your social welfare system,” he said.

Meanwhile, the remaining EU members would lose Britain's “healthy influence”, in particular its “pragmatism” and “free-market orientation”, which had led to “sensible compromises” in negotiations in the bloc.

“If it is all defined, let's say, by France, Spain and Italy making compromises with Germany - I'm a little worried by that prospect,” he told the newspaper.

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