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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 27, 2020, 03:21 PM

16. Wealthy Brexiteers like James Dyson are jumping ship. Why might that be?

Dyson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nigel Lawson – the leave elite appears to want Brexit for everyone else but themselves

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/23/james-dyson-brexiteer-elite-brexit-rees-mogg

Let’s give James Dyson the benefit of the doubt. Let’s take at face value the assurances issued by his multibillion pound company – whose products involve the generation of hot air – as to why it is relocating its headquarters from Wiltshire to Singapore. Apparently, it has “nothing to do with Brexit”. What’s more, it’s barely a move at all, since it will see only two people, both top executives, actually moving to Singapore. Dyson will continue to employ 4,000 people in the UK, many of them in research and development, and the relocation is really just about wanting to keep a closer eye on the firm’s investments in Asia. That it chose to do that in Singapore, where companies pay a mere 17% in tax – rather than, say, India or South Korea – is surely pure coincidence.

Let’s accept all that and agree that the Dyson decision is merely symbolic. What’s it symbolic of? First, it’s worth remembering the special place in Britain’s mythology that the company acquired early in its life. Before Dyson, so the story went, we were terrific at inventing bright ideas but rubbish at turning those ideas into profitable businesses. Brits would have the lightbulb moment, but when it came to manufacturing the actual bulbs, that work – and profit – would be shipped far away.

Then along came James Dyson, hailed by successive governments, who proved it didn’t have to be that way. A British idea produced a British business. Well, that story has now come full circle. With its headquarters in Singapore, Dyson will no longer be a British firm. Indeed, the CEO, Jim Rowan, has asked that from now on it be referred to as a “global technology company”.

Second, and for all its protestations to the contrary, Dyson’s decision is inevitably rolled in with all the others that suggest UK companies, and those based here, are now guarding themselves against Brexit, especially a Brexit of the no-deal, crash-out variety. How else are we to interpret Dyson’s admission that it’s moving to Singapore to be “future-proofed”? What future exactly does it wish to be proofed against?

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
rampartc Mar 2020 OP
Sherman A1 Mar 2020 #1
OhioChick Mar 2020 #2
OnDoutside Mar 2020 #4
progressoid Mar 2020 #8
LineLineLineNew Reply Wealthy Brexiteers like James Dyson are jumping ship. Why might that be?
Celerity Mar 2020 #16
IcyPeas Mar 2020 #15
flibbitygiblets Mar 2020 #3
IronLionZion Mar 2020 #5
Throck Mar 2020 #6
rampartc Mar 2020 #7
flibbitygiblets Mar 2020 #13
Shermann Mar 2020 #9
Throck Mar 2020 #12
BumRushDaShow Mar 2020 #10
CatMor Mar 2020 #11
crickets Mar 2020 #14
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