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I would now vote to leave the EU, says oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood

The businessman and philanthropist voted to remain in 2016 but said the UK could be ‘better off’ outside of the bloc.

Sir Ian Wood (PA)
Sir Ian Wood (PA)

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

Billionaire businessman Sir Ian Wood has revealed he would now vote in favour of Brexit – although he stressed leaving the European Union without a deal in place “would not be clever”.

Sir Ian, who was chairman of oil firm the Wood Group, said he had voted for Remain in 2016 but would “now vote to come out” as he warned Europe could be facing  a “difficult future”.

While he said he had now changed his mind on Brexit, he added he was still opposed to Scottish independence.

I actually think we would be better off, if we could get it to settle down, out of Europe. Sir Ian Wood

The oil services tycoon told The Herald newspaper: “I’m in favour of getting the best status and deal that we can for Scotland’s long-term economic future and all I’m going to say is, in my opinion, that’s not independence.”

He said discussions over Brexit had “exposed a number of things”, adding: “I think Europe’s going to have a difficult future … you’ve got 28 nations in a complex arrangement of economic interdependence.

“The German economy isn’t what it was, France is having problems, Spain is, Italy is.

“I actually think we would be better off, if we could get it to settle down, out of Europe.”

The Scottish Conservatives welcomed his comments, with Colin Clark,  the Tory candidate in Gordon, saying: “Sir Ian Wood’s position is one shared by many in the north-east business community who want to see Brexit sorted.

“We have a deal ready to go that can break the parliamentary logjam. We need to move on and focus on growing our economy and investing in public services.

“What this country and our business community cannot afford is another independence referendum. It would simply mean more uncertainty and unnecessary division.

“The only way to stop Nicola Sturgeon and indyref2 is to vote Scottish Conservative on December 12.”

PA

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