Richard Branson: Leaving the EU would be devastating for Britain

Sir Richard Branson Credit: PA

Richard Branson has thrown his weight behind the Remain campaign, warning that leaving the EU would be "devastating" for the future of Britain.

The Virgin Group billionaire released an open letter imploring Britons to stay in the European Union ahead of this week's referendum.

In it the 65-year-old recalls "how difficult it was" for businesses to operate effectively before the EU, adding he was "saddened" at the prospect of "going back to that time."

Richard Branson's letter urging voters to Remain in the EU:

Virgin Group employs around 50,000 people in the UK Credit: PA

As well as claiming its economic gains, Branson praised the EU for securing peace on the continent in the wake of the World War II.

He said: "I truly believe that one of the EU's greatest achievements that it has kept its members out of conflict in Europe. In fact, not a single shot has ever been fired between the armies of EU member states."

A pro-Europe campaign will be spearheaded by Branson in the run up polling day on Thursday 23 June that will include his warning, adverts and a video message.