Michael Bloomberg has described Brexit as the 'single stupidest thing any country has ever done'.
While following that up with the admission that the election of Donald Trump may be even stupider, the billionaire media mogul and former New York mayor cannot get his head around why the UK chose to quit Europe.
'It is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it,' Bloomberg (pictured) said.
'It was not a smart thing to do and getting out of it is going to be very difficult and is going to be very painful. It will hurt industries. People are already taking space in other cities over there [Europe], us included.'
According to the Guardian, Bloomberg made the comments at a HUBweek conference two weeks ago, which he repeated at an event in France on Monday.
Bloomberg went on to say: 'My former wife was a Brit, my daughters have British passports, so we love England – it’s the father of our country, I suppose.
'But what they are doing is not good and there is no easy way to get out of it because if they don’t pay a penalty, everyone else would drop out. So they can’t get as good of a deal as they had before.'
'I did say that I thought it was the single stupidest thing any country has ever done but then we Trumped it.'
Bloomberg was in London yesterday for the opening of a new headquarters for his company in the City.
The decision to set up a new base in London, covering 1.3 hectares, was made well before Brexit. Bloomberg indicated his company may have taken a different course had he known the UK would leave Europe.
'We are opening a brand new European headquarters in London – two big, expensive buildings,' he said.
'Would I have done it if I knew they were going to drop out? I’ve had some thoughts that maybe I wouldn’t have, but we are there, we are going to be very happy.'
Bloomberg employs 4,000 people in the UK and he indicated some of his staff have become increasingly unhappy following last year's referendum.
'One of the things that is hurting us both in the United States and in the UK is that we have employees, not a lot but some, who are starting to say: "I don’t want to work here – can we transfer to some place else? This country doesn’t like immigrants,"' Bloomberg said.
'All this talk in Washington – words have consequences. Whether we change the immigration laws or not, there is general feeling around the world that America is no longer an open, welcoming place and a lot of people don’t want to go there, and the same thing is happening in the UK because of Brexit.'
In the speech the UK prime minister said the country would be seeking a two-year transition period following its withdrawal from Europe.
Moody's said it expected Brexit to 'exacerbate' the UK's spending problem as a result of the 'erosion of the UK's medium-term economic strength that is likely to result from the manner of its departure from the European Union.'