... but Burberry boss sees a far brighter fu­ture

Scottish Daily Mail - - TERROR ON THE TUBE - By Hugo Dun­can Deputy Fi­nance Editor

THE boss of Burberry yes­ter­day said Brexit of­fered ‘enor­mous’ op­por­tu­ni­ties – and declared that the fash­ion house is ‘ab­so­lutely com­mit­ted’ to the UK.

In a ma­jor vote of con­fi­dence in Brexit Bri­tain from a FTSE 100 com­pany, Burberry pres­i­dent Christo­pher Bailey de­scribed London as ‘an en­ergy hub for the cre­ative in­dus­tries’.

Mr Bailey, who is also chief cre­ative of­fi­cer at the com­pany, added that ‘Bri­tish­ness res­onates glob­ally’.

The 46-year-old backed Re­main dur­ing the ref­er­en­dum cam­paign but said yes­ter­day: ‘It is a much smaller world to­day than it has ever been, in terms of be­ing able to trade.

‘We as a busi­ness have al­ways traded glob­ally. The pos­si­bil­i­ties and the po­ten­tial for growth both lo­cally here in the UK and over­seas is enor­mous.’

The tra­di­tional Burberry trench coat is made in York­shire. Mr Bailey in­sisted the firm, whose out­fits have been worn by stars such as Kate Beck­in­sale and Rosie Hunt­ing­ton-White­ley, was com­mit­ted to keep­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing in the UK – even though plans for a new £50mil­lion plant in Leeds have been put on hold. Speak­ing about the new site, he said: ‘We are just tak­ing a mo­ment just to make sure that we un­der­stand the ram­i­fi­ca­tions. There are a lot of mov­ing parts. I’m not sure any­body knows the out­come of Brexit.’

Carla Busazi, an an­a­lyst at WGSN, which fore­casts trends, said: ‘I think it’s good that a brand that flies the flag for Bri­tain sees Brexit as a pos­i­tive thing. I’m sure there are a lot of fash­ion brands who are very con­cerned about what that might mean for them.’

The boss of FTSE 250 pub chain JD Wether­spoon also waded into the de­bate – launch­ing a scathing at­tack on the ‘pos­tur­ing and threats’ is­sued by ‘un­elected oli­garchs from the EU’.

Wether­spoon founder and chair­man Tim Martin, whose com­pany owns 900 pubs, said at­tempts by Brus­sels to ‘pun­ish the UK’ would back­fire as Bri­tish com­pa­nies ditch Euro­pean sup­pli­ers. Mr Martin said: ‘As a re­sult of their cur­rent pos­tur­ing and threats, EU ne­go­tia­tors are in­evitably en­cour­ag­ing im­porters like Wether­spoon to look else­where for sup­plies.’

Mr Bailey: With Kate Beck­in­sale and Rosie Hunt­ing­ton-White­ley

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