British businessman slammed for suggesting EU is bunch of ‘bully boys’ on Question Time

Phones4u founder John Caudwell on Question Time. Photograph: BBC/Twitter.

Phones4u founder John Caudwell on Question Time. Photograph: BBC/Twitter.

A billionaire businessman has been slammed on social media for suggesting EU Brexit negotiators were a bunch of “bully boys” on BBC Question Time (QT).

John Caudwell caused a stir on Thursday when he accused Brussels of short-changing Britain while it was a member of the EU.

Phones4u founder John Caudwell on Question Time. Photograph: BBC/Twitter.

Phones4u founder John Caudwell on Question Time. Photograph: BBC/Twitter.

Caudwell, a founder of Phones4u and serial philanthropist, said: “If you look at what Brussels is doing, and I call them the “Brussels Bully Boys”, they were taking £8 billion net off us. They were benefitting by £80 billion in trade benefit in trading with Britain. It has £80 billion better trade for them than we were receiving. They were then plundering our fishing waters and all that with the £8 billion pounds.

“Any commercial minded businessman on the planet would say ‘yes, we’d love to do a trade deal with Britain. We’d absolutely adore it because we are going to gain £80 billion worth of trade deficit and yet they’re bullying us and beating us up.

“They beat Theresa May black and blue and they’ve continued tried doing it all the way through. Fortunately, Boris rose to the challenge and fought back.”

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He added: “This behaviour by Brussels I find absolutely abhorrent, but the reason they’re doing it is because they’ve got absolutely no option.

“If they gave Britain an easy ride then other EU nations would see that and potentially there would be a mass exodus, possibly a complete collapse of the Union.”

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Fine Gael politician Neale Richmond tweeted: “What ‘behaviour’ from Brussels? An absolutely ridiculous comment, the EU has been clear throughout that they’re negotiating based on what’s been agreed. It’s the UK govt that is legislating to break international law & renege on a treaty that they ratified only months ago.”

Mr Majestic said: “Christ, even after all these years, people such as Caudwell don’t get that Brussels and the other 27 nations are 1 and the same. He cannot grasp values, only transactional relationships.”

Aaron Campbell wrote: “People bought the idea they were sold that ‘they need us more than we need them’. They genuinely believed it so when reality hits that we are negotiating with a bigger entity then their strength may look like bullying. Of course the EU27 will look after their own interests.”

“If I understood this correctly he is saying the EU are playing hardball because they don’t want anyone else breaking out of the EU union. Sounds a bit like Scotland and Northern Ireland doing the same in the UK because UK didn’t consider the consequences of their actions,” Richard Gatto alluded.

Col added: “For those of us living in NI it is clear that this gov has zero integrity and cannot be trusted. Brexit is a shambles and the international community see that this gov will be offering huge incentives to get trade deals that will not last in the long term!”

@MCpolitico tweeted his support for Caudwell and Boris Johnson, sharing: “He rose to the challenge and agreed an agreement that he’s now reneging on by breaking international law. What an absolute trouper, so proud x.”

@OutofTweet123 followed up: “Rose to the challenge so much he has demonstrated and admitted UK has acted in bad faith while sending a minister out to admit EU acted in good faith... I’m sure ICJ will be lenient! Caudwell can defend Johnson all he likes...but we will be crucified now by EU in ICJ!”

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