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More British company headquarters moving overseas due to Brexit

Published: Wednesday 20th February 2019

With Brexit looming heavily on the horizon, we already know that some British companies are shifting some of their operations overseas. However, more worryingly is the fact that others are going a step further and relocating their head offices too. The question is, does this mean that many jobs that have always been based in the UK will be leaving too?

Sucking jobs out of the economy

One company that’s has been confirmed as moving their HQ is Dyson. The famous British technology firm is moving the company headquarters from Malmesbury in Wiltshire to Singapore. While Chief Executive, Jim Rowan, said that the move was designed to ‘future-proof the company for where we see the biggest opportunities’, clearly Brexit must play a role in the firm’s decision. That said, Dyson already has a presence in Singapore and is planning on building a new electric car there.

2 computer chairs, one with union jack flag, other with euro flag

The company did say, however, that it planned to continue to invest in its UK operations, so, hopefully, there should be limited impact on jobs at its new R&D facility in Hullavington near Malmesbury, where the new car will be tested.

Flying overseas

Airbus is another organisation that is unhappy with the potential impacts of Brexit on its business. A spokesperson there called the government’s handling of the Brexit a ‘disgrace’ and indicated that the company could pull out of the UK completely if the country crashes out of the EU without a deal. The pan-European aerospace giant is one of the UK’s biggest manufacturers with 14,000 workers in 25 locations and supports an additional 100,000 jobs in the wider supply chain. The implications could be disastrous for local economies supported by Airbus in places such as Belfast where an order for five A220-100 planes was cancelled at the beginning of the year.

Who’s next?

The plane takes off from the runway in the evening

The worry is, if big name brands, such as Dyson and Airbus move their head offices, other will take their example and follow suit. Certainly, Consumer brand, Unilever, has taken, the decision to consolidate its dual headquarters in Rotterdam, instead of London, which will no doubt have an impact on Unilever jobs in London. In the world of finance, HSBC is moving 100 jobs from London to Brussels where it will also set up its EU HQ and Lloyds of London might be more aptly named Lloyds of Dublin as it moves its EU headquarters there from London. Barclays has done likewise shifting 150 jobs from London to Dublin.

Even the government has advised certain companies that they might be best served by moving their headquarters out of the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit to minimise the negative impact. But it’s thought that most companies are playing the waiting game. Even though Brexit looks set to go ahead at the end of March, we won’t know until after that date what the actual impact will be on businesses. If the outcome is a hard Brexit, then we could see more companies move their head offices.

In the meantime, if you think your job might be affected and you’re on the lookout for a new role, visit Zoek for new jobs in Manchester, London and other areas, including a number of exciting project manager jobs just in.

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