UK may need IMF bailout, is becoming 'sick man of Europe': Investor
A leading investor says the UK could find itself seeking a bailout from the IMF and is becoming the ‘sick man of Europe.'
The UK may need an IMF bailout and is now called the “sick man of Europe” because of the Brexit negotiations process, a leading investment chief said.
Guy Hands, founder of Terra Firma, a private equity firm, said the Conservatives are “not” fit to run the country and the UK’s investment landscape was bleak.
“It’s got to move on from fighting its own internal wars," the long-time backer of the Tories said on BBC Radio 4's Today program this morning.
He stressed that the decisions made “in the past six years which has put the country on the path to be the sick man of Europe.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss' downfall marked the failure of some Brexiteers' dream of making the country a low-tax, Singapore-style economy, he said.
"Truss to be fair to her tried it and it’s clearly something that is not acceptable to the British people,” he added.
The vision of Brexit needing “extreme Thatcherism” was unachievable, he said, adding that “the Brexit that was done is completely hopeless and will only drive Britain into a disastrous economic state.”
Hands said the Tories had to “own up to the mistake they made in negotiating Brexit” and put in place a person with the “intellectual capability to re-negotiate Brexit." Without that, the economy “is frankly doomed," he stressed.
When asked about what a worsening economic situation would mean for people, he said, “Steadily increasing taxes, steadily reducing benefits and social services, higher interest rates, and eventually the need for a bailout from the IMF like we were in the 1970s.”
As a businessman, Hands said that he tried to be positive about the investment landscape, but the reality is that the country faces "increasing levels of poverty, and it's poverty which is moving up the economic level", reaching middle income households who are struggling to pay their mortgages.