Panasonic has become one of the first global companies to lay the blame of a decision to move their headquarters to Europe directly on the doorstep of Brexit.
The Japanese technology giant announced today that it will move its European headquarters from the UK to Amsterdam in October as Brexit approaches.
The aim is to avoid potential tax issues linked to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, said Panasonic Europe’s chief executive Laurent Abadie.
It comes as several other Japanese financial companies say they intend to move their main EU bases away from London.
Panasonic’s decision was driven by a fear that Japan could start considering the UK a tax haven if it cuts corporate tax rates to attract business, Mr Abadie told the Nikkei Asian Review newspaper.
If Panasonic ends up paying less tax in the UK, that could render it liable for a bigger tax bill in Japan.
Japan is a major investor in the UK, where more than 800 Japanese companies employ more than 100,000 people.
Mr Abadie told the Nikkei Asian Review that Panasonic had been considering the move for 15 months, because of Brexit-related concerns such as access to free flow of goods and people.
The newspaper said employees dealing with auditing and financial operations would move, but those dealing with investor relations would stay in the UK.
A spokesperson for the firm could not comment on the numbers of people who would have to move to Amsterdam.