A MULTI-million pound Bournemouth business could grow in Europe rather than at home if Britain “crashes out” of the EU, its boss has warned.

Peter Phillips has seen Unicorn Training grow from a desk in a spare bedroom to a business with a £7.8million turnover, up 42 per cent year-on-year.

But he said it was hard to plan for its future without a Brexit deal on financial services, the company’s main market.

Mr Phillips, well-known as a former chairman of AFC Bournemouth, said the company was not likely to lay off staff, but that Europe could feel the benefit of its growth.

The business delivers training for the financial services industry, including online courses, games and simulation. It has headquarters in Bournemouth and offices in London and Brighton.

The government has yet to reach a deal about free trade of professional services post-Brexit, and Mr Phillips said time was running out.

“The fact that we are primarily in financial services creates a great deal of uncertainty because nobody knows what the future of services is going to be yet. It’s hardly been discussed,” he said.

“At the moment, the regulations in the UK and EU are very much in line with each other and therefore we can produce materials that are equally appropriate in the EU and Britain – but that could change quite rapidly post-Brexit.

“With it being more difficult to recruit people from the EU, it could turn out that we need an EU presence.

“That’s not to say that we would relocate numbers of people, it’s just that there’s less chance of growing the number of people here.”

He was concerned that Britain would “crash out” of the EU without a deal, but suspected the country would “muddle through”.

He added: “We’re getting closer and closer and there’s practically no discussion about financial services, which is our core market, so it’s very difficult to plan in all this uncertainty.”

Mr Phillips said the business recruited staff from across Europe and that its latest hire had been from Denmark.

“We employ the best people available. We don’t have to think about where they come from particularly and we have some very good EU citizens working for us in Bournemouth on the games side and the corporate side – and there’s a fundamental uncertainty about their future,” he said.

Unicorn Training was started by brothers Peter and Andy Phillips 30 years ago in Andy’s spare bedroom, with an Amstrad computer. It advanced from floppy disks and CD-Roms to online interactive training.

It also owns a majority stake in the Bournemouth-based mobile game maker Amuzo.