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Sony to Move Europe HQ from London over Brexit Concerns

Sony is moving its European HQ from London to the Netherlands to avoid Brexit-related problems.

Company’s spokesperson Takashi Iida told Agence France Press that the electronics giant would be re-registering its European headquarters to minimize customs issues raised by Britain’s exit from the EU but has no plans to relocate personnel or operations.

The move follows on the heels of electronics maker Panasonic, which moved its British headquarters to Europe last year. Japanese bank Norinchukin also said earlier this month that it would also set up a presence in the Netherlands to hedge against Brexit risk.

Meanwhile, several Japanese carmakers are timing work pauses at their U.K. operations for the period right after Brexit in order to avoid shipping tangles.

In an announcement that might have been better timed, electronics maker Dyson said Tuesday it would also move its registered headquarters from the U.K. to Singapore. Dyson’s founder, James Dyson, has been a high-profile supporter of Brexit, and the company said that its headquarters move is to capture opportunities in Asia and has nothing to do with Brexit. It will continue to develop research and development and fabrication facilities in the U.K.

The formal deadline for Brexit, with or without a deal, is March 29th. There is currently little more certainty over the future trade relations between the U.K. and EU than the day after the Brexit vote in 2016. A recently leaked U.K. government document estimated that cross-Channel freight could drop between 75% and 87% in the absence of a trade agreement.