Peter Hargreaves signs 15m letters backing Brexit

Peter Hargreaves signs 15m letters backing Brexit

One of the founders of Hargreaves Lansdown has told investors not to worry about the potential volatility of Britain leaving the EU.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Peter Hargreaves said there will be short-term volatility whichever option voters choose on 23 June. “I believe this is a long-term decision and I believe leaving the EU is the right thing for the country to do.

“Anything can cause short-term volatility in the stock market and whatever happens it will return to equilibrium in due course.

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“Whatever happens I believe the UK will prosper, I just believe the UK will prosper more if we don’t have the bureaucracy of the EU around our necks.”

Mr Hargreaves was speaking after he signed a letter which was sent to 15m households across the UK by the Leave.EU campaign group.

In the letter, which is already in the post, he appealed to voters to use this chance to take Britain out of the EU.

This is the first attempt made by the Brexit campaign to contact voters directly.

Mr Hargreaves said he has given financial support to the Leave.EU campaign, but declined to say how much he has donated.

He said he was spurred into writing the letter by the lack of balance in campaigning so far, citing comments made by figures such as Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, which have been interpreted as being supportive of remaining in the EU.

Mr Hargreaves said: “I have been a little bit cross over how the government has behaved over this. They offered a referendum and they are reluctant to allow it to be a free vote.

“I am 69 and I voted in the last referendum on the Common Market and at that time it was an absolutely free vote. All the political parties now feel they need to direct their MPs and the country.”

He said he voted in favour of staying in the Common Market in 1975 because it was a free trade area, adding that he objected to the political union of the EU.

Mr Hargreaves founded the Bristol-based FTSE 100 company which bears his name in 1981, along with Stephen Lansdown.

Earlier this month he told The Today programme that European capitals do not have the expertise of London, among various other arguments for a Brexit vote.