The head of one of Germany's top publishing houses has come out strongly backing the UK's economy after it exits the European Union, saying that Britain will be better off than the other member states within three to five years.
Described as one of Germany's most prominent businessmen, Mathias Döpfner said that Britain will emerge from Brexit with a stronger economy as it will make the country a more attractive destination to foreign investors outside the bloc.
While conceding that the UK is likely to undergo short-term pain, including currency fluctuations and uncertainty in its property market following Brexit, he said: "but in three to five years from now, my bet would be that England will be better off than continental Europe."
The chief executive noted how Europe is changing into a "transfer union" which he described as where funds are being moved from successful member states to struggling ones, which could "put a lot of investors off." Britain on the other hand would be moving towards a "more free market-oriented model."
He said that without EU rules, the UK will be able to impose a "very healthy ... talent-orientated" immigration policy.
"You basically integrate and invite people that you benefit from and not people who only benefit from your social welfare system," he told the Financial Times in an interview.
Döpfner did not have positive words for the EU. He warned member countries that they would suffer disproportionately from losing Britain's "healthy influence" in the bloc, praising the UK's pragmatism and free-market orientation which he said had often led to sensible compromises in talks between member states .
"I very simply think that in the long run continental Europe may suffer more from Brexit than England itself."
He added: "We should not take this whole Brexit decision as a way to blame the Brits. We should take it like a wake-up call for Europe to refresh its political approach. I count on the pragmatism and the free-market orientation of the British people and they will find ways to attract foreign investment and be an important business hub."