Most reviews of the effect of Brexit on business locations describe all negative business events as due to Brexit. There is an outstanding example of this bias in the September 2019 Metro article: “All the companies that have collapsed or moved abroad since Brexit”. It is telling that the Metro article was written before Brexit had happened and so was propaganda against Brexit. Disentangling the effects of the global downturn in 2018-19 from Brexit is simple because no-one could be sure that Brexit would happen until December 2019. Indeed, before the appointment of Johnson in mid 2019 it seemed more likely to most Remainers that Brexit would be overturned and there was huge uncertainty until December. Forget about the “surveys” and propaganda, what has actually happened since Brexit?
Moves of Headquarters and major investments to the UK since Brexit
Unilever has moved its headquarters to London from the Netherlands
According to figures from the Financial Conduct Authority, processed by the consultancy Bovills, one thousand banks, asset managers, payments companies and insurers plan to open offices in the UK. These are real applications, not a survey.
Shell is considering moving its corporate HQ to London from The Hague
Novartis is investing millions in a new centre in White City London
HSBC Builds a new headquarters in Birmingham
Siemens moved its UK headquarters to a new Manchester site.
Hilti has moved to a spanking new headquarters in Manchester
Avon is moving headquarters from the US to the UK.
BASF is creating a new £145m UK headquarters in Stockport.
L’Oreal has created a large UK headquarters in White City, London.
TikTok has chosen London as its European hub.
Moves to the EU from the UK
The moves to the EU are complicated by the fact that the label “EU Headquarters” does not apply to premises in the UK. This means there are two sorts of move ahead: actual moves and moves of the title “EU Headquarters”.
Moves of “EU” title or Euro related bank business to EU based premises
Sony will move its EU headquarters to the Netherlands. They said there will be no staff losses in the UK.
Panasonic moved its EU headquarters to Amsterdam although this involves only 20 staff
Several banks are moving their Euro processing to the EU.
Moves of actual headquarters and major investments to the EU
Salesforce is moving its European office to the EU
N26 a small German startup has withdrawn from London, some say due to financial problems with the parent company.
I am having a huge problem finding transfers of whole businesses from the UK to the EU.
There seems to be no sign of the promised mass exodus of corporations from the UK to the EU. If anything the move is in the opposite direction.
If anyone knows of more HQ investments and transfers (not “surveys”) please comment below and they will be included.
This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: https://pol-check.blogspot.com/2020/07/corporates-move-to-uk-post-brexit.html