Guy Hands warns over Brexit

Private equity boss Guy Hands has said Brexit will be good for his businesses, which include the Wyevale Garden Centre Group - but will mean a 30 per cent wage reduction for UK workers.

Terra Firma chairman Hands added that leaving the EU will lead to higher interest rates and increased immigration from outside Europe, from places such as India and Africa, who will accept "substantially" lower pay.

He told Bloomberg TV that foreign investors will raise lending rates to the UK as it leaves the EU, which will lead to higher interest rates.

"That will lead to bankruptcies and that will lead to opportunities, so sadly it will probably be bad for the majority of people and bad for the country, but for my business it's probably going to be good."

Speaking in May, ahead of the Brexit vote, Hands said imports and regulations would rise in cost because of Brexit: "For the UK, the cost of plants will definitely go up. So many of our plants are imported from Europe and at the moment we rely on the quarantine system and freedom of movement, which that quarantine system allows. If we came out of Europe we would have to put all regulations in place separately.

"A lot of people think coming out of Europe could get rid of regulations but in reality we would have to recreate a whole lot of new regulations instead of having a certified regulator, which we might feel is excessive, but we'd end up with lots and lots of individual regulations, many of which would be equally excessive."

*Book now for the Garden Retail Summit 2017 - the leading independent knowledge and networking event for executives. Taking place in London on 23rd February and run by Horticulture Week, this year's event will focus on growth, and include the opportunities and challenges of Brexit, learnings from the latest garden centre developments - and will be opened with a keynote address from John Cleland, CEO, Dobbies. For more details and tickets go to:

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Are garden centres taking business from department stores?

Are garden centres taking business from department stores?

Can other garden centres learn from Petersham Nurseries and the fusion of retail elements in its new Covent Garden outlet?

Consolidation reaching ever further across horticulture

Consolidation reaching ever further across horticulture

Consolidation is stretching across the nursery and retail horticulture sectors, with Dutch corporate finance company Oaklins saying the horticulture market is now going through another wave of consolidation.

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

There are 11,700 electric car-charging points across the UK but only eight at garden centres, so more can be done to take the opportunity in garden retail.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles