Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has conveyed that Britain stands poised for a change of government, castigating the Conservatives for their management of the economy and immigration post-Brexit.

Maintaining that his petrochemicals conglomerate INEOS remains apolitical, Sir Jim endorsed Brexit and recently spent time with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at Manchester United – the football club he now partially owns.

“I am confident that Keir will lead the country effectively – I harbour no doubts on that matter,” Sir Jim remarked in an exclusive interview.

“The Conservatives have undoubtedly had a commendable tenure,” he added. “However, it appears that the majority of the populace deems it time for a shift. I can empathise with that sentiment.”

Sir Jim, a notable advocate for Brexit during the 2016 referendum, now finds fault with the manner in which Brexit was executed under Tory leadership.

“Unfortunately, Brexit did not unfold as anticipated because… Brexit was predominantly centred around immigration,” Sir Jim elucidated.

“Immigration was the primary driver of that decision. People grew weary of the incessant influx akin to the city of Southampton every year. Last year alone, it was twice the size of Southampton.

“A nation as diminutive as the UK cannot adequately accommodate such vast numbers of immigrants.

“It places undue strain on the National Health Service, transportation infrastructure, law enforcement, and all other sectors.

“The country was tailored for a population of 55 to 60 million, yet we currently have 70 million inhabitants, leading to the breakdown of essential services.

“That was the essence of Brexit, and yet, no tangible steps have been taken to address it. It is this negligence that leads me to anticipate a change in government.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has hinted at an imminent election, yet Sir Jim, residing in Monaco, remains unimpressed by the Conservatives’ economic stewardship.

“The UK must enhance its competitiveness in the business arena,” he opined. “Fostering economic growth should be the government’s paramount objective.

“The economy comprises both the services sector and manufacturing. Unfortunately, manufacturing has been in decline for the past 25 years.

“A quarter of a century ago, we were on par with Germany in terms of industrial output.

“Today, however, we pale in comparison, which bodes ill for the British economy, especially considering the manufacturing-heavy nature of the North of England.

“This pertains to issues such as energy competitiveness and the exorbitant tax levied on North Sea resources.

“Such punitive measures dissuade investment in energy exploration. We require a competitive energy landscape. In the United States, the oil and gas industry faces a corporation tax of approximately 30%. In contrast, the UK imposes a staggering 75% tax in an apparent bid to stifle the sector.

“Without competitive energy, our manufacturing industry cannot thrive. It is a nonsensical approach, in my opinion.”

Responding to queries regarding INEOS’ donations to Labour, Sir Jim asserted: “INEOS maintains political neutrality.

“Our sole aspiration is to bolster the manufacturing sector in the UK, a stance we have communicated clearly to the government.”

Sir Jim exhibited greater enthusiasm discussing the economy and politics than his involvement with the struggling Manchester United, in which he acquired a 27.7% stake from the American Glazer family in February, thereby elevating his business profile.

Advocating for the development of Old Trafford and its environs with public funds, despite apparent political reticence, Sir Jim hosted Sir Keir at the stadium for a Premier League match last weekend, during which heavy rainfall underscored the dilapidation of the ageing venue.

“In my view, there exists a compelling argument for the establishment of a ‘stadium of the North,’ serving the northern regions of the country in footballing matters,” Sir Jim articulated.

“Considering the number of Champions League titles won by the North West, which stands at 10 compared to London’s two, it is evident that a major footballing venue in the North is warranted.

“This initiative is not only beneficial for the southern precincts of Manchester but also imperative for regeneration efforts.

“Manchester, historically significant as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, necessitates a focal point for regeneration. A world-class stadium would catalyse rejuvenation in the region.”

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