Belfast Telegraph

Cobra Beer founder calls on Government to remain in EU

The founder of Cobra Beer has ripped into the Leave campaign's "outright lies" and is urging the Government to remain in the European Union, despite the referendum result.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, who is also a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, told the Press Association that the public was "conned" in the run-up to the vote and slammed the inaction of the Electoral Commission.

He said: "The public have been conned. What I want to know is, what were the Electoral Commission doing?

"They should have stepped in and stopped the Leave campaign from spreading outright lies, about £350 million for the NHS and other appalling mistruths.

"I think on that basis alone the vote should be reconsidered, the stakes are too high. I believe and hope we can still stay in."

Lord Bilimoria, who still chairs Cobra and is also founding chairman of the UK India Business Council, added that the idea Britain has regained control following the result is a "joke".

He said: "The Leave campaign called June 23 'independence day', I call it the day the UK shot itself in the foot.

"It's a disaster, self-inflicted and completely unnecessary. It's a joke, we've lost control.

"The pound has fallen to levels not seen since I first arrived in the UK from India, when Britain was seen as the sick man of Europe."

He also pointed to the fact that the referendum is advisory only, and that people will begin to "wake up when it starts to affect them".

Lord Bilimoria's comments come after law firm Mishcon de Reya, acting on behalf of a group of clients including Zoopla boss Alex Chesterman, took legal action to ensure MPs vote on Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which formally sets withdrawal in train.