Leon founder John Vincent: Time to be positive about Brexit

Emma Haslett
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John Vincent (right) said the UK must have a "positive relationship with Europe" after Brexit (Source: Leon)

One of the co-founders of fast-growing healthy food chain Leon has called for businesses to be more positive about Brexit.

In an interview for City A.M.'s Unregulated podcast, Vincent said it was time to have "more positivity, a more can-do attitude".

He suggested belonging to the European Union is a double-edged sword.

"When I go to Greece and I see the corruption... it kind of makes you think, does it make sense to be in effectively the same federal entity as those countries? That's kind of like Leon being in the same giant company that also owns McDonald's and KFC," he said.

"I think autonomy, ownership and accountability within a country is really good."

However, he acknowledged that Brexit may be painful for the catering industry.

"I do believe that we are going to suffer... from not having access to the European Union. [EU nationals] have massively enriched our culture at Leon," he said.

"I think it's wonderful when I see a young Italian with a young Spanish person with a young person from another European country, it's the most amazing cultural melting pot. Probably future wars are going to be prevented because people see people from Germany haven't got seven heads.

"[But] we've now got to get on with it... and make sure we, at the end of it, have a really positive relationship with Europe."

In a wide-ranging interview, Vincent also discussed the company's intentions to expand to the US, and his work with the government on school lunches.

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