Remains reels in Lord Sugar, TV Dragons… and Stephen Hawking
In a new film, the Apprentice star makes the case for Remain as a 'plain-speaking person, an East End chap'
Lord Sugar has become the latest celebrity to support remaining in the European Union, saying Brexit is up there with the worst of the "daft ideas and duff proposals" he has heard.
But the star of The Apprentice is not the only big name signing for the Remain campaign, as it has also been backed by seven former and current Dragon's Den and by perhaps the world’s most famous living scientist.
For his intervention, Lord Sugar uses a new film to “explain in simple language why we must remain in Europe”.
Having told the story of how he set up his own firm in Hackney, the peer stresses that “you could not be listening to a bigger gambler than me”.
Lord Sugar adds: “I am telling you this is a gamble we cannot afford to take... I’ve been in business for many years and I’ve seen plenty of daft ideas and duff proposals in my time and Britain leaving the European Union is one of them.
“We’re told by various campaigners that it would be some great moment if Britain leaves. But then what? All they give us is some rubbish about being like Norway or Canada or even Albania; it’s hardly reassuring.”
Elsewhere, seven former and current Dragon's Den investors have said that Brexit poses a "serious risk" to the UK economy.
James Caan, Hilary Devey, Kelly Hoppen, Touker Suleyman, Sarah Willingham, Simon Woodroffe and Piers Linney signed an open letter outlining their support.
The letter states: “Leaving the EU constitutes a serious risk – to the British economy as a whole and to millions of businesses, including start-ups, small firms and larger corporations.
And Stephen Hawking has told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the EU brought benefits in terms of both trade and security.
“Gone are the days when we could stand on our own, against the world. We need to be part of a larger group of nations, both for our security and our trade. The possibility of our leaving the EU has already led to a sharp fall in the pound, because the markets judge that it will damage our economy.”
Hawking said there were two “obvious reasons” why Britain should stay in the EU.
“The first is that it promotes the mobility of people. Students can come here from EU countries to study, and our students can go to other EU universities. More importantly, at the level of research, the exchange of people enables skills to transfer more quickly, and brings new people with different ideas, derived from their different backgrounds.
“The other reason is financial. The European Research Council has given large grants to UK institutions, either to foster or promote exchanges.”
Meanwhile, the Leave campaign has been making use of one of its few celebrity backers. Sir Ian Botham was on the campaign trail with Boris Johnson yesterday, warning Britain risked becoming "cluttered" with migrants after a Remain vote.