Billionaire oil tycoon Ian Wood says he now backs Brexit

Oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, answering questions in front of the Scottish Affairs Committee at the House

Oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, answering questions in front of the Scottish Affairs Committee at the House of Commons. Photograph: PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Billionaire businessman and oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood has revealed he now backs Brexit.

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 stressed that he only backed Leave if it was on the deal terms.

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.

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"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."

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Wood also said that he would not support Scottish independence, sparking the Conservatives to welcome his comments.

Colin Clark, the Tory candidate in Gordon, said: "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."

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