‘Fantastic way to talk about your passengers!’ Michael Portillo blasts Ryanair boss for wanting Brexiteers to ‘die’

Michael Portillo has hit out at Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary for claiming Brexiteers ‘dying out’ is a ‘good thing’.

O’Leary is an outspoken critic of Brexit and has called for closer EU ties since Britain departed the bloc in 2020.

He hit out at Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in an interview with the Sunday Times, branding them “lunatic halfwits” as he fumed at their roles in delivering “the greatest act of economic self-harm in history”.

But Portillo said on GB News that O’Leary “doesn’t know very much about accountability in politics” and fails to realise that Brexit was not a decision taken with his airline in mind.

Michael Portillo and Michael O'Leary

Michael Portillo hit out at Michael O’Leary


“It’s a fantastic way to talk about some of your passengers”, he told Camilla Tominey.

“Brexit was not about the convenience of Ryanair, or even about air passengers.


“It was about the sovereignty of this country. It was about making sure that the decisions that affect our daily lives are taken by people that we can vote for and against.”

He added: “Those decisions being made at the level of the European Union, that did not happen.

“I speak as someone who spends much of my time on the continent of Europe. I have two passports, one of them is a European Union passport.

“I know the diversity of political cultures with Europe mean we cannot be governed in common.

Camilla Tominey

Camilla Tominey was joined on her GB News show by Michael Portillo


\u200bMichael O'Leary

Michael O’Leary is an ardent Remainer


“The ambition of the European Union is we should be governed in common, that comes at an enormous expense, which is a lack of accountability.

“I’m afraid that while Michael O’Leary absolutely knows how to run an airline, he doesn’t know very much about accountability in politics.”

O’Leary believes the UK will eventually hold stronger ties with the bloc it voted to leave, predicting “younger people will change things”.

“I’m not sure the UK will ever rejoin the EU’, he said.

“But it will, in my view, rejoin the European single market in the next five to ten years, in a Swiss-style deal or a Norwegian-style deal.”

The airline boss is a vehement Remainer and made his stance clear in the lead-up to the 2016 referendum.

He predicted Britain would end up looking “stupid” over Brexit as he repeatedly called on Britons to vote remain.

With 51.9 per cent of voters backing Leave, O’Leary did not get his wish and he has lamented the decision since.

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