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Virgin's Branson Warns Against UK Exit From EU

  • Associated Press

FILE - Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and Virgin Unite, delivers a speech during the "Our Ocean" conference in Vina del Mar city, October 5, 2015.

FILE - Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and Virgin Unite, delivers a speech during the "Our Ocean" conference in Vina del Mar city, October 5, 2015.

Virgin Group's Richard Branson has stressed that Britain's exit from the European Union would be damaging to the country, predicting that such an action would ultimately lead to the breakup of the 28-nation bloc.

Branson told Sky News that he thought it would be a "very, very, very, very sad day if British people voted to leave.'' Branson noted that Europe has been free from war since the introduction of EU, and that he hoped "sense prevails.''

Branson's remarks came as Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron pressed for concessions in talks Friday on reforming Britain's membership in the EU and making the bloc less intrusive.

EU membership has given the U.K. access to the massive European market. However, popular distrust of the EU has grown in Britain, particularly because of struggles over immigration.

Cameron working on deal

British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived for more EU talks saying he'll do everything he can to secure a deal on the U.K.'s relationship with the bloc.

Cameron met other leaders until after 5 a.m. Friday. Returning a few hours later, he said that "we've made some progress, but there's still no deal.''

"We're going to get back in there, we're going to do some more work and I'll do everything I can,'' Cameron said.

European Council President Donald Tusk, left, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, second left, participate in a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron during an EU summit in Brussels, Feb. 19, 2016.

European Council President Donald Tusk, left, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, second left, participate in a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron during an EU summit in Brussels, Feb. 19, 2016.

The 28 EU leaders hope to cement an agreement Friday, but have yet to iron out differences on issues ranging from welfare benefits to financial regulation.

French President Francois Hollande is insisting that new European Union rules for Britain should maintain strict financial regulation.

France resisting reforms

France is putting up tougher-than-expected resistance to British Prime Minister David Cameron's push for EU reform ahead of a British referendum on whether to stay in the 28-nation union.

Arriving for the second and final day of an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Hollande said there is still work to be done before reaching a deal with Britain despite talks that stretched nearly until dawn.

He insisted that Britain should not be given any ``right of veto or blockage'' and that all EU countries should have rules limiting speculation and avoiding new financial crises.

Countries like France that share the euro currency worry that protections for Britain and other non-eurozone nations would offer unfair advantage to Britain's financial center, the City of London.

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