Ryanair boss O’Leary says he doesn’t really believe UK will lose EU air access in 2019
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary – who set the cat among the pigeons last week by predicting the end of passenger flights between the UK and EU countries – says PM Theresa May will avoid a ‘hard’ Brexit.
At a press conference in London to announce Ryanair has joined Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, he said he expected Mrs May’s government to eventually “roll over” in the divorce talks with the Brussels bloc and come to an interim arrangement that is business as usual that maintains Britain’s EU membership in all but name – and without any influence over decision making.
The media savvy airline boss who knows how to grab the headlines had originally predicted, in characteristically bombastic fashion, that people in the UK could ‘say goodbye’ to cheap flights for European holidays. They would have to turn to Scotland or “God Forbid, wet and rainy Ireland”.
This was because there was, he said in his original wind-up, a “real prospect” that there will be no air travel between Britain and EU countries after March 2019 because the UK would no longer be in the Open Skies programme.
“There will be no flights between the UK and Europe from March 2019. Theresa May, David Davis and all the other Brexiteers will be trying to explain that to you in 12 months’ time.
“So enjoy your last summer holiday in Europe for our summer 2018 programme because from March 2019 you’ll be heading for Scotland or, God Forbid, wet and rainy Ireland.”
He was scathing about Prime Minister Theresa May’s government’s handling of Brexit:
“She’s delusional, but the entire British establishment is f***cking delusional. Look at those bull**** position papers they published recently.
“They want to leave the single market but retain access to the single market. Why the f*** are you leaving then? It’s bananas.
“You’re lions led by f***ing donkeys at the moment, but then you elected them so it’s your own fault.
“When everyone starts panicking about their summer holidays, then we’ll see how strong and stable Theresa May is, she’ll probably be in Japan sipping f***ing tea and sake.”
He was asked for his view on the Prime Minister’s initiative to curb excessive pay for chief executives and other company bosses. Mr O’Leary’s own salary for last year was €3.26million as the company made record profits.
He replied: “Look at (Wayne) Rooney on £200,000 a week. I should be paid more. I might not score as many f***ing goals but I employ way more people.
“If Theresa May was serious about pay then she would take on Premiership footballers. If Ryanair end up on her list I couldn’t give a sh*te.”
“As for shareholders voting against my pay-packet my advice is don’t vote against it – if you don’t like it then sell your shares and f*** off.”