Dragons’ Den: Deborah Meaden’s blunt Brexit deal quip before ‘very, very worried’ remark

Huge argument in the Den – Dragons' Den preview – BBC Two

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The business tycoon, 62, is considered among Britain’s most respected investment minds after more than 40 years in the industry. She returns to screens tonight on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, ready to grill more hopeful entrepreneurs. Away from the cameras, Meaden is known for her frank opinions and for rarely holding back on issues related to the business world.

The Dragon has made a number of remarks about Brexit and vocally opposed the nation’s decision to leave the European Union. 

She joined several celebrities including Sir Patrick Stewart, John Bishop and Gary Lineker who supported a second referendum, known as the “People’s Vote”.

It sought to overturn the will of the majority British public, 52 percent of whom cast their ballots for Brexit.

Meaden was among the 700,000 people who marched in Hyde Park, London, two years ago, in protest to the claims made by the Leave camp.

She told The Tab that she could “genuinely not name one thing” that she “liked” about Brexit.

When pushed for “a tiny one”, Meaden claimed farming policies “could be better outside the EU”.

However, she quickly backtracked and stated: “That doesn’t mean we cannot sit within the EU and influence those policies.”

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During a discussion on BBC Newsnight last year, Meaden admitted she was always “an optimist” but expressed concern about the Brexit deal.

She felt there was “enough will to make it happen” but added: “Sometimes deals fall-over over ridiculous points.”

Meaden claimed businesses were concerned about leaving the EU and there would be “many hurdles… thrown at us” by the bloc.

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She claimed both big and small companies were “very, very worried” and she hadn’t “heard one” that was “sitting there going, ‘Oh, whatever!’”

Despite raising concerns in a number of public appearances, Meaden has often found a lighter side while commenting on Brexit on social media.

At the dawn of the New Year, she tweeted: “Just checked. I’m still European… Hurrah.”

Meaden’s words echoed the remarks of Joanna Lumley, who stated “nothing has changed” between our relationship with other Europeans.

The Absolutely Fabulous actress also voted Remain but admitted she could “understand Brexiteers’ problems”.

During a 2016 interview on AOL’s Build Series, she argued that the EU was too large to be able to unite all 27 member states on issues. 

She said: “Look how hard it is to get a hung jury to agree [and] that’s only 12 people… so how do you get 27 people to agree?”

Meaden followed her “still European” remark with another tweet, where she wrote: “The UK is and always will be in Europe….. just not the EU.”

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In January, the Dragon swiped one Twitter user who suggested she was “happy to be in the European Union and doing a deal with China”.

Meaden urged her detractor to “drop this obsession with Brexit” because Britain had already “left the EU”.

She argued that “our behaviour now lies at our feet” and vented: “We can’t blame the EU for everything now.”

That same month, Meaden claimed Brexiteers voted to leave the bloc “for good reason” – however, she felt they would not be achieved.

She tweeted: “Sadly, mostly unrelated [issues] to our membership of the EU and therefore it won’t be fixed by being outside of the EU.”

Meaden believed the problems would “worsen” further and the only way to “salvage the situation” was to “do what was promised and make lives better”.

Last month, the TV star briefly appeared to have changed her mind about the outcomes of Brexit. 

She admitted “some good will come out [of] Brexit” and “hoped” it would be “enough to offset the pain” the nation was “going to go through”.

In that same month, Meaden also tweeted: “So exports to the EU [were] down 40 percent. 

“[The] UK loses [the] top spot of Finance in Europe. Brexit.”

Deborah Meaden joins Peter Jones, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies and Tej Lalvani on Dragons’ Den, which airs at 8pm tonight on BBC One.  

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