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Monday 17 December 2018

O'Leary threatens to ground his planes after Brexit

Michael O'Leary. Photo: Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images
Michael O'Leary. Photo: Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images

Ryanair is threatening to ground its planes after the UK withdraws from the European Union to persuade voters to "rethink" Brexit.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said he wants to "create an opportunity" by making people realise they are "no longer going to have cheap holidays".

"I think it's in our interests - not for a long period of time - that the aircraft are grounded," he told an audience of airline leaders in Brussels.

"It's only when you get to that stage where you're going to persuade the average British voter that you were lied to in the entire Brexit debate.

"You were promised you could leave the EU and everything would stay the same. The reality is you can leave the EU, yes, that's your choice, but everything will fundamentally change."

Mr O'Leary warned that there would be a "real crisis" as flights between the UK and the EU are disrupted after Brexit.

Misled

"When you begin to realise that you're no longer going to have cheap holidays in Portugal or Spain or Italy, you've got to drive to Scotland or get a ferry to Ireland as your only holiday options, maybe we'll begin to rethink the whole Brexit debate," he said.

"They were misled, and I think we have to create an opportunity."

Carsten Spohr, the boss of giant German carrier Lufthansa, said: "In theory, if we could use this industry to prove to the British how wrong the decision was, that might be a good thing."

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