Phones4U founder John Caudwell believes Angela Merkel’s Germany could be one of the worst hit countries by a no deal Brexit. The entrepreneur told BBC Newsnight the EU is “playing brinkmanship” and seems to “fear Britain having free trade arrangements”.
The billionaire businessman spoke to Emily Maitlis during a crucial week for Brexit.
The Prime Minister will meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday in an attempt to secure a deal.
Michel Barnier has told a meeting of the bloc’s ministers that he believed a no-deal scenario is now more likely.
Mr Johnson has described the current situation as “very tricky” but hopes “the power of sweet reason [can] get this thing over the line”.
Mr Caudwell said: “I didn’t envisage us going this far because every indication should have been that Brussels would have been delighted to do a deal with us.
“Let’s look at the facts.
“The facts are that they gain £80billion worth of trade surplus from us.
“They gain a big Brexit pay out from us and access to our markets.
He said: “We need to fight tooth and nail to bring businesses into the UK, we need to set up enterprise zones, we need to attract inward investment and really drive the growth of our GDP and businesses onto our shores.”
Ahead of Mr Johnson’s crunch meeting, Lord Ashcroft, former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, sent him a tweet.
He wrote: “At dinner Wednesday in Brussels @BorisJohnson grip your marbles tight, pour lead in your pencil, don’t go wobbly and don’t cross your stated red lines…good fortune..”
Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin has said EU leaders would have to start discussing a no-deal outcome if an agreement is not reached in “the next day or two”.
Mr Barnier and Lord Frost held talks ahead of Mr Johnson’s meeting with Ms von der Leyen.
He tweeted: “Briefed all Member States at the #GAC today. Full unity.
“We will never sacrifice our future for the present.
“Access to our market comes with conditions. Working closely with @DavidGHFrost and team to prepare upcoming meeting between @vonderleyen and @BorisJohnson.”
Leaders of the EU’s 27 member states are due to gather in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit.