LORD Willie Haughey has slammed the current state of UK politics as “shambolic” as he declared Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal would prove to be worse for the UK than predecessor Theresa May’s derided withdrawal agreement.

And the Labour peer, whose Gorbals-based City Facilities Management Holdings employs more than 12,000 people around the world, slated Johnson for being primarily responsible for the deteriorating standards in public discourse which have marred the Brexit debate.

Despite voting to Remain in the 2016 referendum, Lord Haughey, Scotland’s current entrepreneur of the year, insisted the UK has a democratic mandate to deliver Brexit. But, speaking after addressing a packed Glasgow Chamber of Commerce event, the former Celtic Football Club director said the protracted process has left the UK in a state of “paralysis”, precluding the UK and Scottish Governments from tackling pressing domestic matters.

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Asked to sum up the current state of UK politics, Lord Haughey, who was knighted in 2012 and entered the House of Lords in 2013, said: “Shambolic; one word sums it up. And I’m part of it, so I’m not on the outside. I think people are fed up with the circus. We really need to get back to normality. Brexit has been such a huge distraction for everyone, and people are going to get fed up with us altogether. Hopefully, common sense will break out very, very soon.”

Pressed on what would constitute a “common sense” outcome, he added: “I’m a Remainer, but the people voted to Leave, so I think we should honour that. If we live in a democracy, we should get that done ASAP. We should try and get the best deal that we can.

“I just think at the moment the lack of respect in politics is a big, big thing. And I’m pointing most of that at the Prime Minister, where it just seems it doesn’t matter what the rules are.

“For me, we have to get back to normal, and we have to get back to serving the people, which we are not doing. Everybody is serving themselves at the moment.”

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Despite Johnson proclaiming he has secured a “great deal” with the EU, Lord Haughey believes it to be vastly inferior to the agreement secured by May.

Stating that the Prime Minister had effectively thrown Northern Ireland “under a bus” in terms of future border arrangements with the Republic of Ireland, he said the May deal could yet be revived.

Lord Haughey said: “He just gave the EU more than what they wanted. I’ve said for months and months that Boris would just end up getting Theresa May’s deal through. I still that there may be a case of that happening.”

With the EU having signalled its willingness to extend the Brexit deadline, the Johnson administration is now focused on holding a General Election before Christmas. But Lord Haughey said it would be wrong to go the polls before the festive season.

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He said: “Personally, I don’t think he’ll get the votes to get an election on the 12th of December. I don’t think that’s a good thing, people are fed up and taking a day off during their Christmas shopping [is not something people want]. It would probably be one of the lowest turnouts ever.”

Lord Haughey had earlier shared the story of City with members of the Glasgow Chamber at 200 St Vincent Street. He credited his wife Susan, who co-founded the business as City Refrigeration in 1985, as being a key driving force. The company was built in its early years on providing refrigeration services to the pub trade, but has since transformed into a broader facilities management business, with operations in Australia, Asia, the US, France and the UK.

As it has grown, City, which employs 1,100 people in Glasgow, has become increasingly focused on technology. It is on course to increase turnover to £1.1 billion from £971m in its current year, with projections to life that to £2.3bn by 2023. He forecasts employee numbers will grow to 15,000 in that timeframe.

Lord Haughey said: “We are [now] seen as a technology innovator, rather than an FM company. That is putting us where we are.”

Lord Haughey told the audience he believes Brexit will result in living standards falling in the UK. With so much of his firm’s growth generated outside Europe, he does not envisage Brexit having a material effect on his business. But he noted it would make staff recruitment more challenging if and when freedom of movement between the EU and UK ends.

He said: “Our expansion is coming in Australia, Asia, America and we have been focusing on that. It will affect us when it comes to getting staff. We have got a broad church of people who work for us, especially down south.”