Vote Leave supporter ‘does not regret’ Brexit despite warnings he could lose business

John Hardman says he doesn't regret voting for Brexit despite the risk it posed to his business. Pho

John Hardman says he doesn't regret voting for Brexit despite the risk it posed to his business. Photograph: Twitter/BBC. - Credit: Archant

A Vote Leave supporter who stands to lose his business after Brexit has said he does not regret voting the way he did.

John Hardman said his reasons for voting to leave the EU had not changed in four years and was disappointed Brexit trade talks were still continuing.

Speaking on BBC, he told presenter Simon McCoy: 'We won't have a business by the end of the year.'


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'Regrets?' McCoy probed.

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'No, I don't regret for the reasons I voted to leave but I find it just incredible that it's taken four years of complete discombobulation for what appears to be that we are heading for a World Trade Organsization exit.'

Hardman runs a labour sourcing company that helps UK farmers find fruit pickers from the EU and other countries.

The businessman's comments come as the UK admitted it was planning to bypass its commitments in the Northern Ireland Protocol.

On Tuesday, Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis admitted changes to allow ministers unilateral power to interpret the Protocol would be 'breaking of international law in a very specific and limited way.'

He told MPs that the proposed legislation would mean the UK was 'taking the power to disapply the EU law concept of direct effect, required by Article 4 in certain, very tightly defined circumstances. There are precedents for the UK and indeed other countries needing to consider their international obligations as circumstances change.'

He insisted the Finance Act 2013 'contains the example of treaty override, it contains provisions that expressly disapply international tax treaties to the extent that these conflict with the general anti-abuse rules.'

MORE: Theresa May raises questions about Britain's commitments to international obligations

The Northern Ireland Protocol forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement which was ratified by Westminster and all 27 EU member states late last year and was touted by Boris Johnson as an 'good deal'. Now, Tory MPs are calling for it to be torn up in the event of a no-deal scenario.

One Twitter user who watched Hardman's interviewed likened him to a 'genuine Turkey voting for Christmas and leaving all of us stuffed.'

Another wrote: 'This level of self sabotage is absolutely bonkers.'

On its website, HOPS says it has more than 30 years experience of sourcing seasonal labour for the land-based industry in the UK. Hardman is a director of the company.

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