A British exit from the European Union would set the country back half a century and be catastrophic for its trade and economic prospects, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson said yesterday.
Branson, whose Virgin Group empire ranges from airlines to banking and space travel, was speaking after Prime Minister David Cameron told EU leaders last week he needed a new deal to keep Britain as a member.
"We've now got a trading bloc that is equivalent to the size of America and we're on an equal footing when we're negotiating trade deals or airline deals," Branson told the BBC, referring to what he said were the advantages of belonging to the EU.
"If we go back to being Great Britain again, we will have our hands tied behind our back and I think Europeans will rightly punish us and we'll be back to where we were 50 years ago."
Leaving the bloc would be "catastrophic" for Britain, said Branson, saying the EU had helped preserve relative peace in Europe.
Branson also said his home country might actually be richer if it had joined the euro zone.
"I think if we were part of the euro right now, our currency would be a lot cheaper.
"Great Britain would be doing that much better at trading in Europe.
"Because the pound is a lot stronger than the euro, it makes it more difficult for us."
The Punt watched with bemusement two years ago as technology entrepreneur Elon Musk and Taoiseach Enda Kenny shared a stage at the Web Summit in Dublin.
Since then things have gone well for Musk but he suffered a set-back yesterday as an unmanned rocket belonging to his SpaceX company exploded about two minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, destroying a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station.
The 63-metre rocket was the company's 19th launch since its 2010 debut, including six previous cargo runs for Nasa under a 15-flight contract worth more than $2bn.
Musk confirmed the news on Twitter.
"Falcon 9 experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown," he said.
The crew on the Space Station has about four months of food and supplies on board, so the accident does not pose an immediate problem.
How much do you pay your interns?
Perhaps you are a bit more generous than the Government's €50 scheme but you are unlikely to be anywhere close to Apple.
Turns out that the iPhone maker pays interns $6,700 (€6,000) a month but forbids them from telling their friends about the job or posting any details on their Facebook pages or even listing details about the internship on their CVs.
"They want to be able to release a product that everyone's happy about but no one knew about before," a former Apple intern told the US media.
"You can't tell anyone anything about your job," he said. "You can't tell people outside of your family what you're working on."
The intern said Apple's interview process is different to Google and Facebook because Apple interviews intern candidates for specific roles. Google and Facebook on the other hand conduct general interviews and then place interns on specific teams once they're hired.
Interns make $38 per hour, according to the intern or about $6,700 per month.
Interns also get overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week; earning time and a half. No wonder our young are flocking to the tech sector these days.