POLITICS

Tory Millionaire Says Brexit Is Good For Young People As They Will Be Able To Work Longer In Shops

The Brexiteer struggled to explain why the UK would be better off outside the EU

30/08/2017 13:07 BST | Updated 30/08/2017 15:47 BST

A multi-millionaire Tory peer has been mocked after suggesting Brexit will be good for young people as they will be able to work longer hours in shops.

Lord Harris, estimated to be worth more than £100million, claimed retailers could currently only employ young people for 35 hours a week because of EU law.

In fact, the European Working Time Directive means employees cannot be forced to work longer than 48 hours a week – and even then, they can opt-out of the restriction.

Brexit-backing Lord Harris, who made his fortune through interior store Carpetright, also set up the Harris Federation – which runs 44 primary and secondary schools in and around London.

He was challenged on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to explain how leaving the EU would help young people.

Harris: “It will give us more opportunity. It will give younger people more opportunity in this country and we won’t be controlled…”

Presenter: “Why?”

Harris: “Because we’ll have more freedom of laws.”  

Presenter: “What’s wrong with the laws we have at the moment?”

Harris: “If you take a retailer, we can only keep our staff on for 35 hours a week, I think it is now.”

Presenter: “You’ve done alright out of it.”

Harris: “We haven’t done too badly.”

When pressed further as to what advantages the UK would have after Brexit, Harris said: “I just feel we would better off out of the EU.”

Twitter users were quick to jump on the remarks.