Guy Hands says Britain will soon be poorer than Poland Street view on Brompton Road outside Harrods department store in Knightsbridge on 13th January 2023 in London, United Kingdom. © Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

Brexit has weakened the UK economy and driven the nation into a “sort of geriatric decline,” British financier and chairman of the private equity firm Terra Firma told Bloomberg on Friday.

Since the UK left the European Union, it has been competing on the world stage, but the country’s current laws might not be suitable for the new environment, billionaire Guy Hands suggested in the outlet’s weekly ‘In The City’ podcast.

Unless change happens, the UK risks becoming poorer and poorer compared to other European countries.

“I look at the UK and see that, in 2030, Poland will be wealthier than we are,” he said. “In 2040, we will be the poor man in Europe.”

According to Hands, the UK should not have left the EU, as the country needs rule of law and consistency, but not a single politician is talking about going back. He lamented that Brexit has essentially thrown the country back 50 years, to the 1970’s, a decade that is widely remembered as a time of crisis, with skyrocketing inflation, high unemployment, strikes and power cuts.

British PM hails ‘cheap beer’ Brexit benefit British PM hails ‘cheap beer’ Brexit benefit

The enormous amount of political change that has happened in the UK over the past seven years has left investors concerned, and the public lacking confidence, the billionaire believes.

Now that the UK is out of the EU, the British government could take a radical approach and change some of its laws, Hands said, citing the country’s “extraordinarily complex” labor laws that are “a nightmare” compared to other European countries. The UK also needs some “boring bookkeeping,” and the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak seems to be good at it, according to Hands.

The financier noted that the British government has succeeded in repairing some of the damage caused by Liz Truss, whose economic policies were “absolutely disastrous” and would have led to the country needing a bailout. Truss’s argument, however, that the UK needed to become much more productive to be more competitive was “100% right”.

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