One of Britain’s leading fund managers yesterday branded warnings that Britain faces economic Armageddon because of Brexit ‘profoundly wrong’.
Speaking out against ‘Brexit-driven hysteria’, Neil Woodford said ‘Remoaners’ who wanted to stay in the European Union should ‘get over themselves’.
The star stock-picker even used the interview with the Financial Times to accuse the newspaper – which opposes Brexit – of going ‘a little bit mad’ in its coverage of the referendum result and its aftermath.
Speaking out against ‘Brexit-driven hysteria’, Neil Woodford said ‘Remoaners’ who wanted to stay in the European Union should ‘get over themselves’
Mr Woodford, 57, likened concerns about the UK economy to those over the millennium computer bug, which turned out to be nonsense.
The fund manager, who looks after about £15 billion of savers’ money, said the shares of certain British companies were now cheap because of overblown worries about Brexit.
‘I’ve rarely witnessed such an overwhelming consensus view – which I believe to be profoundly wrong – that the UK economy is going to hell in a handcart,’ he told the Financial Times.
‘And I think your own paper has gone a little bit mad, actually. People have become so extreme in their view that Brexit is a pre-determined disaster for the UK economy, that the share prices are discounting literally economic Armageddon for the UK economy.’
The fund manager, who looks after about £15 billion of savers’ money, said the shares of certain British companies were now cheap because of overblown worries about Brexit
Asked how he voted in the referendum, Mr Woodford said: ‘Put it this way, I think I would have been a happier, less stressed fund manager if we’d voted to stay.
Britain's manufacturers have clocked up their best month for more than four years as the weak pound boosts exports.
Defying Brexit doomongers, factories said demand for goods helped to boost production and new orders last month, leading to more jobs. The upbeat report came as figures showed overseas investment hit a record high last year as foreign money flowed into Britain.
Some £145.6 billion worth of foreign direct investment was recorded by the Office for National Statistics in 2016, up from £25.3 billion in 2015. Research group IHS Markit said its index of activity in British manufacturing, where scores above 50 show growth, rose from 56.6 in October to 58.2 in November. This was the strongest score since August 2013 and the tenth best since the survey began 26 years ago.
Manufacturing production is also increasing at a quarterly rate of almost 2 per cent.
‘But we didn’t. And as a country, we just need to get over it. And the Remoaners need to get over themselves.’
Mr Woodford has earned a reputation for correctly predicting how companies will perform and investing savers’ cash accordingly, although he admits to having just had a ‘pretty poor 18 months’.
He said he feared global stock markets were in a bubble that will eventually