Dragons’ Den: Deborah Meaden fury over Brexit before ‘better outside EU’ claim

Dragons’ Den: Deborah Meaden fury over Brexit before ‘better outside EU’ claim

Dragons’ Den: Deborah Meaden says ‘bluffing’ annoys her

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The business tycoon returns to BBC screens tonight for the second episode of Dragons’ Den. She joins Peter Jones, Touker Suleyman, Tej Lalvani and Sara Davies to judge the pitches of hopeful entrepreneurs. Meaden, 62, is among the nation’s most respected voices in the business community and regularly makes her opinions known.

On many occasions, Meaden had taken to Twitter to issue warnings about Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Brexit was voted for by 52 percent of the UK and has split a number of celebrities since the referendum five years ago.

Meaden has been a longstanding critic of Brexit and admitted she was “deeply sad” about the departure in a tweet last year.

While she claimed to be upset, she was “neither surprised or disappointed” by “where we have found ourselves”.

The entrepreneur wrote: “I expected it.

“But if I had voted for Brexit I would feel badly let down and pretty cross at finding us in a worse position when I was promised better.”

In February, she fought back against one angry Twitter user who claimed she would be “happy to be in the European Union and doing a deal with China”.

Meaden told the irate commenter that he needed to “drop this obsession with Brexit” as the UK had already “left the EU”.

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She tweeted: “Our behaviour now lies at our feet… we can’t blame the EU for everything now.”

Last month, Meaden claimed her business acumen allowed her to see the damage Brexit had caused to the economy. 

It followed Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak revealed our national debt was at £2.1trillion and we continue to add around £30billion a month.

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Meaden argued that the Government had not been honest about the causes of the UK’s debt and claimed Brexit was to blame more than coronavirus.

She tweeted: “The pandemic has been blamed for all economic downturn.

“In reality, Brexit is playing a considerable part and to date is hardly mentioned at all…

“I’m in business, I see the effects of Covid. I also see the effects directly related to Brexit.”

The business tycoon has been a stern Remainer since the referendum but in a rare moment seemed to praise Brexiteers.

In a 2019 article by The Bristol Tab, Meaden was described as having found Brexit “not to her taste” before issuing one positive remark about leaving the bloc. 

Deborah Meaden discusses 'democratic' second Brexit vote

They noted how she had joined a roster of Remain-backing celebrities who wanted to overturn the EU referendum’s result with a second “People’s vote”.

When asked if she had “anything good to say about” Brexit, Meaden appeared to struggle.

She replied: “I can genuinely not name one thing about Brexit that I like.”

When pushed for “even a tiny one” by The Bristol Tab, she argued that the agricultural industry may benefit. 

Meaden said: “I can actually say that there are some farming policies that I think could be better outside the EU.” 

However, she toned down her praise by arguing that we should still be “within the EU” to ensure we can “influence those policies”.

Ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with the EU, she raised concerns about the impact to businesses on BBC Newsnight.

Meaden said she was “very, very worried” about the negotiation deadline drawing closer before she admitted she was “optimistic”.

Despite her anti-Brexit stance, she believed the UK would “find a way through” the “difficulties”. 

Deborah Meaden stars in Dragons’ Den, which airs at 8pm tonight on BBC One.

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