James Eden, the chief executive of luxury clothing manufacturer Private White VC, also cast doubt over being able to hire British workers after the EU divorce as “we just don't have those skills anymore”.
Speaking to Sky News, the entrepreneur hailed the bloc for its role in the success of his business.
He said: “I think people underestimate just how simple and relatively straightforward it has been historically to do business in the EU.”
Mr Eden then talked about his company’s reliance on EU workers, with about 35 per cent of his workforce hailing from across Europe.
James Eden said business in the EU had been "straightforward"
I think people underestimate just how simple and relatively straightforward it has been historically to do business in the EU
He said: "We just don't have those skills anymore. This is detailed, technical stuff and not easy. We've not had those skills pretty much since the late 1980s.
“Our technical education system just doesn't provide it. So we have no choice but to look for them elsewhere."
Also speaking to the news channel from the Salford-based business was Polish employee Kaisa, who has been in the UK for 10 years.
Kaisa, who is in the process of applying for British citizenship, said many of her colleagues were worried about Brexit.
In pictures: Theresa May meets with EU's Tusk Thu, April 6, 2017
The two leaders held talks on Brexit negotiations
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European Council President Donald Tusk gestures to members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing street after talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in central London
Kaisa said her colleagues were worried about Brexit
She said: “It's scary when you look at the countdown and think there's less than two years to do everything we can as a business to support everyone and help them with the paperwork and bureaucracy.
“But I already know it's got harder to recruit – people are just too uncertain about the future."
Speaking after Theresa May met with European Council president Donald Tusk, a Number 10 spokesman insisted discussions had been “positive”.
He said: “The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s desire to ensure a deep and special partnership with the European Union following its exit, and noted the constructive approach set out by the Council in its draft guidelines published last week.
“She said the UK looked forward to formally beginning negotiations once the 27 Member States agreed guidelines. Both leaders agreed that the tone of discussions had been positive on both sides, and agreed that they would seek to remain in close touch as the negotiations progressed.”