|George Soros said Theresa May would not last as prime minister and Donald Trump would hurt financial markets. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images|
George Soros: Theresa May won't last and Donald Trump is 'would-be dictator'
Billionaire investor delivers bleak Brexit forecast at World Economic Forum and says Donald Trump is ‘gearing up for trade war’ but will fail
Theresa May will not remain in power long as Brexit cripples her government, while is a “would-be dictator” who is “going to fail”, the billionaire investor George Soros has told the Davos world economic forum.
On the eve of , Soros delivered a scathing assessment, saying the “impostor and con-man” was “gearing up for a trade war” which would have “a very far-reaching effect in Europe and other parts of the world”.
The “would-be-dictator … didn’t expect to win, he was surprised”, Soros told an audience of business leaders and journalists in where the World Economic Forum is being held.
“I personally have confidence that he’s going to fail … because his ideas that guide him are inherently self-contradictory,” added Soros, who was a supporter of Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US presidential election campaign.
Soros said he expected financial markets to “not do very well” because of the uncertainty generated by the .
On and Brexit, Soros predicted economic upheaval in Britain and substantial difficulties in bringing about a clean break with the European Union – and the prospect of the UK quickly joining again or entering a successor arrangement once the referendum mandate of leaving the EU was fulfilled.
“In my opinion is is unlikely that prime minister May is actually going to remain in power. Already she has a very divided cabinet, a very small majority in parliament. And I think she will not last,” he said.
“At the moment the people in the UK are in denial. The current economic situation is not as bad as was predicted and they live in hope. But as the currency depreciates, and inflation will be the driving force, this will lead to declining living standards.
“This is going to take some time, but when it does happen they’ll realise that they are earning less than before because wages won’t rise as fast as the cost of living.
“The divorce is going to take a very long time. It’s much harder to divorce than to get married, so I think the desire for rapprochement will develop, and in theory or maybe even in practice you could have a situation in 2019 or 2020 when Britain will leave the EU, because it does have to take place, but they could leave on a Friday but join over the weekend and have the new arrangement in place in Monday morning.”
Soros said he hoped both sides would realise they must find some common ground and find common ground to avoid a bitter divorce.
The future for Europe looked bleak, Soros said, after a disastrous 2016. Europe had become too complicated, leaving people alienated and anti-European parties gathering force.
May, speaking earlier at the forum, said Britain had voted with to leave the EU but it was “overwhelmingly” in Britain’s interests for Europe to succeed.
“Britain must face up to a period of momentous change. It means we must go through a tough negotiation and forge a new role for ourselves in the world. It means accepting that the road ahead will be uncertain at times, but believing that it leads towards a brighter future for our country’s children, and grandchildren too.
“We are going to be a confident country that is in control of its destiny once again.”
With the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse