01 Feb 2019
One in three UK firms could re-locate following Brexit
A survey from an employers’ group has reported that Brexit has led to nearly a third of UK firms planning to relocate their operations abroad or have already shifted in preparation.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) reported that 29% of the 1,200 firms they surveyed believed that Brexit posed a significant risk to their operations in the UK. 11% reported having already moved some of their activities elsewhere, while 18% said they were planning to or actively considering it.
61% had no intention of moving because of Brexit.
Edwin Morgan, interim director general at the IoD, said:
“It brings no pleasure to reveal these worrying signs, but we can no more ignore the real consequences of delay and confusion than business leaders can ignore the hard choices that they face in protecting their companies.
“The UK’s hard-won reputation as a stable, predictable environment for enterprise is being chipped away.”
With Britain due to leave the European Union (EU) in two months, investors have urged the government to ensure an orderly exit from the union they joined in 1973.
Large companies, including Sony and Panasonic have already relocated their headquarters from the UK to Europe, but the IoD remarked that many smaller companies have similar plans too.
According to the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), many firms have started gearing up ready to move operations abroad or stockpiling goods to combat the worst effects of Brexit.
Head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Britain’s most powerful business lobby group, warned that firms were accelerating their plans for a no-deal Brexit. She added:
“I don’t think there will be a single business this morning who is stopping or halting their no-deal planning. I fear they may even be accelerating it.”
On Tuesday, British lawmakers instructed Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK to reopen a Brexit treaty she struck with the EU to replace an Irish border arrangement, however, a flat rejection was promptly received from Brussels.