Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson has warned that the value of the pound would crash in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking to the BBC, the Virgin founder said sterling would likely fall to the same value as the US dollar, having been at $1.53 before the referendum in June 2016.

He said it would have a “devastating” effect on the Virgin group and force the company to take investments out of the UK. Sir Richard also revealed that referendum vote has already had a significant impact on Virgin Airlines, with it losing £100 million a year as a result of the weaker pound.

“The pound was at $1.53 when the referendum took place. The pound today it is at $1.22, $1.23, and the pound will collapse to parity [one for one] with the dollar if there is a hard Brexit,” he said.

The entrepreneur added: “All our costs are in dollars. Maintenance, plane costs, pretty well every cost is in dollars. And therefore, the bottom line hit of that was £100m a year.”

He also said similar issues can be seen across “an enormous list when you look at each Virgin company”.

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be the next Conservative Party leader and prime minister, has refused to rule out suspending parliament in order to push through a no-deal Brexit. And Sir Richard Branson is “absolutely certain” such a move would result in the closure of “quite a few British businesses”, having already warned in December that it would leave the country “bankrupt”.