EU referendum: Hargreaves Lansdown boss Peter Hargreaves backs Brexit

Catherine Neilan
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It could be "an inspiration", he said (Source: Getty)

Hargreaves Lansdown founder Peter Hargreaves has said he backs the UK leaving the European Union, the latest City bigwig to come out in support of Brexit.

Hargreaves, who founded the Bristol-based finance firm in 1981, told the BBC a "fresh start" would help the country become more innovative.

"I'm firmly convinced, that day - hopefully - we decide to leave, that little bit of insecurity, that little bit of unknown will be an absolute fillip to everyone," Hargreaves told the Today Programme. "It will be a great incentive for us to go out and prove that it's right.

"When Singapore became independent from Malaysia, that little insecurity that they were no longer part of Malaysia, it was an inspiration," he said. "I honestly think that would be good for us too."

Demand for UK fashion and cars, as well as the attractiveness of the UK as a market for the EU, would ensure good trade deals, he said.

Hargreaves is one of a small number of City luminaries to come out in favour of the move, but that number is gradually climbing.

John Longworth was recently forced to step down as director general of the British Chamber of Commerce after publicly backing Brexit.

But plenty of other groups have issued Brexocalyptic warnings of what will happen if the UK leaves the union, with the likes of Berenberg warning of a recession and a run on the pound, while HSBC has said it will create a labour shortage, ramp up food prices and harm the banking industry.

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