In Brief

Why has Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, moved to Monaco?

Ratcliffe, who said Britain would be ‘perfectly successful’ outside EU, set to move to Europe

Britain’s richest man and a key Brexit backer is to leave the UK and move to Monaco.

Despite claims that the UK would be “perfectly successful” outside of the European Union, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has chosen to leave the country of his birth and move to the principality on the Mediterranean coast, whose residents pay no income tax.

The billionaire engineer, who owns a majority stake in petrochemicals giant Ineos, was named Britain’s richest man in this year’s Sunday Times rich list, with an estimated fortune of £21bn.

The Daily Telegraph says the decision to relocate to Monaco “may be seen as a blow for Theresa May as the businessman is a high-profile supporter of Brexit and has recently begun snapping up well-known British brands including Belstaff and developing plans for a 'spiritual successor' to the discontinued Landrover Defender”.

“Motivations for the relocation have not been made clear”, says The Independent, but some have condemned the move, given Ratcliffe’s outspoken support for Brexit.

Speaking to The Sunday Times before the 2016 referendum, the billionaire said: “The Brits are perfectly capable of managing the Brits and don’t need Brussels telling them how to manage things. I just don’t believe in the concept of a United States of Europe. It’s not viable.”

He follows a string of high-profile Brexit supporters who have made plans to leave the UK since the referendum vote.

In May, the former Tory chancellor and chairman of Vote Leave, Nigel Lawson, was accused of hypocrisy after it was revealed he had applied for permanent residency in France.

Meanwhile, the wealthy Conservative party donor Lord Ashcroft was also criticised for urging “ambitious” British companies to relocate to Malta at the end of the Brexit process, saying the island would be a “superb location for UK companies needing an EU base”.

His comments drew a sharp rebuke from Labour MP Ian Murray, who said Ashcroft “backs a Brexit that will devastate jobs and the economy at home while at the same time trying to flog the benefits of low-tax Malta to companies fleeing the mess he and his chums have made.”

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