A third of UK firms may now move abroad because of Brexit

Industry bosses have warned that a third of British businesses are thinking of relocating abroad.

The latest figures from the Institute of Directors (IOD) warn 16% of companies have already started the move, and 13% have now started actively planning it.

The IOD surveyed 1,200 company directors and in shocking news for the British economy and UK jobs found only 62% confirmed that they have no intention of setting up outside the UK.

This is a shocking vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government being able to negotiate stability and the trading relationships the country’s economy relies on.

69% of companies making a move confirmed it was to another EU state.

We still have a chance to stem the flow, and provide enough certainty to the firms that are considering moving but haven’t yet done so,” said the IOD’s Interim Director General Edwin Morgan.

“The UK’s hard-won reputation as a stable, predictable environment for enterprise is being chipped away.”

He warned: “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.

“Change is a necessary and often positive part of doing business, but the unavoidable disruption and increased trade barriers that no-deal would bring are entirely unproductive.”

The devastating news comes after on Wednesday it emerged in court that Barclays bank is transferring £166 billion in assets out of the UK and boosting its Dublin staff by hundreds, many of whom will be transferred from London.

The drastic move is set to happen by the date the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March and is to protect the bank from a no deal Brexit.

The bank joins other banks preparing for Brexit by moving jobs abroad including HSBC which is relocating as many as 1,000 jobs to France and Goldman Sachs which is set to move hundreds of jobs to Frankfurt.

James Dyson was recently accused of “staggering hypocrisy” after it was revealed that the vocal supporter of Brexit was moving his vacuum cleaner and tech firm to Singapore.

Easyjet set up a new company in Austria to protect its business post-Brexit and cross-channel ferry company P&O is to fly a Cypriot flag.

Big brands such as Sony and Muji have moved European headquarters out of the UK and car manufacturers have warned of the drastic consequences of a chaotic Brexit.

Toyota jobs are at risk with its Deeside and Burnaston factories on “stop-start” production in case of a no deal Brexit, the company warning it would imperil £10m of car production a day.

Honda is halting production in April in case of a no deal Brexit and Bentley have warned that Brexit is a “killer” for car production as they stockpile parts.

Even Lloyds of London insurance giant have warned it is “madness” to assume they will stay in the UK as they prepare for a move to Brussels.

Last week Tom Enders, the Chief Executive of Airbus which directly employs 14,000 Brits across 25 sites, and supports a further 110,000 UK jobs, branded the government’s handling of Brexit a “disgrace” and warned the aerospace giant may be forced to pull out of the UK if the country crashes out of the EU without a deal.

He added: “Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness, which asserts that because we have huge plants here we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong.”

In a shockingly racist response Tory MP Mark Francois branded the boss of the aerospace giant “Teutonic” and ripped up his warning on TV.

It remains to be seen if Francois, the Conservative MP for Rayleigh and Wickford will now respond to the British bosses at the Institute of Directors with such arrogance… 

@BenGelblum 

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