Dyson, the UK’s household appliance maker has said it will be moving its headquarters to Singapore. Sir James Dyson, known for founding the company, was a prominent pro-Brexit tycoon and pro-Brexit campaigner. James Dyson explicitly said days before the 2016 votes, Britain could be about £18.5 billion pounds better off each year if it left the EU. Sir Dyson’s support of Brexit was apparently motivated by sovereignty. So, now it seems that the same company that voted for Brexit has turned its back on the British economy?
Singapore signs a trade deal with EU – Dyson moves to Singapore. Japan signs a trade deal with the EU – Nissan moves to Japan. Do I see a pattern emerging?
— Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) February 4, 2019
For the first time ever, a list has been compiled of Britain’s biggest taxpayer by The Sunday Times. James Dyson, Mike Ashley and the Beckham family have been named among those who paid the most tax in the UK last year. In 2017Dyson paid £95m in taxes. Rowan said that Dyson’s move would have little impact on its tax affairs. However, the move means that the company will be registered in Singapore and not in the UK. Nitin Panagarkar, an Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Business School, said that he thinks Dyson’s relocation is tax related as he benefits from incentives such as tax breaks.
Dyson’s chief executive, Jim Rowan has said that the decision to relocate out of the UK had no relation to Brexit or taxation. He stated: ‘It’s to make us future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities.’
Currently, Dyson employs 4,000 workers in the UK, Rowan has assured that its decision to move will have no subsequent impact on these workers. In practical terms, it seems that not much will actually change. Rowan also emphasised that Dyson would still be investing money in British industries and that there will be an injection of £200m in new buildings and testing facilities. In addition to this, £44m will be invested in new office space and £31 for new undergraduates. By releasing these figures it seems like an attempt to stress Dyson’s commitment to Britain because they are ultimately leaving.
Two Senior executives will be transferred to the Singapore office and Sir James Dyson will split his time equally between the UK and Singapore. The decision does have implications – Dyson’s centre will lie in Asia, as this where the company sees the most opportunities forgrowth.
Engineering company Rolls Royce is another example of a British manufacturer that has chosen Singapore as its base. CEO Jim Rowan said that ‘We have been talking about our pivot to Asia for some time’ and that ‘Asia represents (Dyson’s) largest and fastest growing market in the world.’ There is no doubt that Asia offers a dynamic and faced paced environment for such successful businesses’. However, it just seems convenient that in the wake of Britain’s ‘uncertainty’ due to Brexit, now is the time that Dyson is moving. Dyson will also manufacture its new electric cats in Singapore, rather than the UK. Bosses have offered that the move is motivated by the fact Dyson will be closer to its manufacturer bases.
Nissan moves to Japan
It seems that although the company have made clear their intentions for the company and motivations for the move, the timing of the relocation seems fitting. However, as Dyson will continue to invest and recruit in the UK, one can hope other companies will not follow Dyson. Unfortunately, Nissan, despite promising to build an X-Trail SUV factory in Sunderland, North of England, the carmaker is now making the vehicle in Japan. Nissan said this was because Brexit was a concern and the fact there was a collapse in the demand for diesel and there were lower costs of making the vehicle in Japan also contributed towards their decision.
Hence, it seems that companies are no doubt losing faith in the UK economy and trying to make an escape to Asia, whilst they still can due to Brexit.