Dyson HQ move to S’pore from UK leads to founder being criticised for Brexit ‘hypocrisy’
Dyson's founder is a supporter of Brexit.
British technology giant Dyson announced on Jan. 22 that it will move its corporate headquarters from Britain to Singapore.
This follows a previous tie-up when the company announced in October 2018 that it would set up its first electric car manufacturing plant in Singapore.
But much like in October 2018, the company’s founder Sir James Dyson has come under fire for the move.
Brexit means Brexit
Dyson (the man) is known for being a vocal supporter of Brexit, the UK’s move to sever ties with the European Union (EU), including possibly economic links.
Brexit supporters believe that leaving the EU will be better for the British economy, and protect British jobs and interests.
However, opponents of Brexit are pointing to this move by Dyson as an example of how British companies are actually safeguarding their own interests by leaving the UK, in anticipation of Brexit.
The group, People’s Vote UK, which favours a second referendum on the Brexit question, tweeted about Dyson’s “hypocrisy” in the move to Singapore:
The shameless hypocrisy of leading Brexiters knows no bounds and today we learn that one of Brexit’s biggest backers, James Dyson, is moving his HQ from the UK to Singapore. https://t.co/gFKrAyhUPV
— People's Vote UK (@peoplesvote_uk) January 22, 2019
Labour MP David Lammy also commented on Dyson’s move, comparing him to other prominent Brexit-supporters in the UK:
Another prominent Brexiteer to add to the list. Don't let them get away with it.
🇬🇧James Dyson – Ditches UK HQ to relocate to Singapore. https://t.co/PD9Xjhwh1E
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) January 22, 2019
British millionaire Deborah Meaden also commented on the move.
She pointed out that due to Singapore’s recent Free Trade Agreement with the EU, it will actually have better economic ties to the bloc than the UK, in the event of a no-deal Brexit:
Yep! I’ll not be buying Dyson for a while…not that it will matter to Duden as they have access to much bigger Market which we are about to put up the barriers to… https://t.co/6GuVGB7KLt
— Deborah Meaden (@DeborahMeaden) January 22, 2019
“Nothing to do with Brexit”
Dyson’s move joins other companies who have taken steps to shield themselves from the effects of Brexit.
Japanese electronics giant Sony will merge its UK headquarters into its arm in Amsterdam, the Netherlands instead, effectively making it their new European headquarters.
Shipping company P&O will also register its ships under the flag of Cyprus, not the UK, in order to maintain their EU tax arrangements.
Despite this, Dyson executives insist that their move has nothing to do with Brexit.
Chief executive Jim Rowan labelled the move as an “evolution” of the company.
Dyson already manufactures all of its products in Asia, where it generates over half its profits, according to the Financial Times.
Rowan also mentioned that the move will not lead to job cuts, and that the company will continue to pay taxes in the UK, according to a report from The Guardian.
Rowan himself will be relocated to Singapore for the move, along with other top executives.
Top image via Dyson UK on YouTube.