The Brexit Party has today announced property developer Ben Habib as a candidate for the European elections. At the launch event, Habib argued for keeping a no deal Brexit on the table.
Habib's involvement is an intriguing data point for those who think a influential fraction of Brexit supporters are driven by an appetite for cheap assets.
Here's how his views were reported after the referendum in 2016:
There are company bosses fearful of the prospects posed by Brexit.
Ben Habib, chief executive at commercial property investor and fund manager First Property Group PLC isn't one of them.
He sees market instability after the UK vote to leave the EU as a big opportunity for a small firm like First Property, and means (for currency reasons) an immediate injection of profits in the short term and later, a chance to buy more UK assets at cheaper prices. [ProactiveInvestors]
The weakness of sterling after the referendum was a particular boon to First Property because of the repatriation of euro-denominated profits from Polish and Romanian investments.
As recently as February, the Investors Champion podcast reported that First Property 'is currently sitting on cash so that it is ready to buy assets if the UK property market crashes in the wake of a no deal Brexit.'
No Deal would no doubt mean more cheap assets, and further sterling weakness, precisely because of its impact on the wider economy. It's fair to ask whether the interests of hard Brexit backers like Habib, are aligned with those of the wider British public.