Isle of Man based entrepreneur and author Jim Mellon has well and truly nailed his colours to the EU Leave camp.
Mr Mellon, 59, has made a blistering attack on the ‘Remain’ side claiming it would be ‘madness’ to vote to stay.
Isle of Man residents who qualify to vote on June 23 - those registered to vote in UK elections in the past 15 years - now have until midnight tonight (Thursday) to declare their intention to take part in the in-out referendum.
It follows a computer glitch which left some people unable to sign up before the original midnight Tuesday deadline.
In a prominent article on the leader page of Tuesday’s Sun newspaper Mr Mellon writes: ‘Imagine you are visiting your neighbour for a cup of tea.
‘Suddenly you smell a fire, and soon you see that there are smouldering embers all around you. You suggest to your neighbour that they call a fire engine, but they say: ‘‘No, it’s just a few flames.’’
‘Quickly, the fire spreads and you have a choice - jump out of the window, or be incinerated with all of your neighbours who are still in denial that the fire exists.
‘What do you do?
‘Well. This fire is well under way - in the European Union at the moment - and, uniquely among its inhabitants, we have the chance to leave. Do we want to burn with the rest or get out?’
He added: ‘We will be burnt to an economic cinder if we stay in.’
Mr Mellon, who, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, is worth £850 million, claims Britain will prosper if it leaves the EU.
Mr Mellon, the director of the Burnbrae Group later told Talk Radio host Paul Ross: ‘Europe is going to plunge into a multi-year depression as a result of the problems, principally in France and Italy, which are just too big to bail out.’ And he warned of a ‘monumental crisis’ coming.
The Isle of Man is not in the EU but it does have a trading relationship with it, governed by the Protocol 3 section of the treaty that the UK signed when it entered the then EEC in 1973.