Japanese electronics giant Sony has announced that it is shifting its European base from London to Amsterdam and has blamed the Brexit uncertainty for the sudden move. This move brings out the fears about Brexit among large Japanese corporations in UK which are among its major investors and their move will adversely affect the economy due to loss of jobs and incomes. Sony spokesperson Takashi Lida declared that the decision was made due to uncertainty of Brexit and it was best to be prepared in case of an eventuality of no-deal.
Last week the Brexit deal proposed by Britain’s PM Theresa May was rejected by its parliament that had been made in agreement with negotiators from EU Commission. So there is a large degree of uncertainty about how situation will unfold as by March end Britain will officially leave EU. While Sony said that its head office will now be based out of Netherlands to avoid custom regulations it will not move any of its staff out of London and operations for Europe will still run out of UK office. The electronic major makes devices and appliances and has also business interests in entertainment industry.
Besides Sony another of its Japanese compatriot firm Panasonic announced in August last year that it is shifting European operations from London to Netherlands. This it said was due to potential risk of restrictions that may come in for movement for goods and people between UK and EU nations after Brexit. It is understood that around 1000 plus Japanese firms have their European bases in London and employ 140,000 or more people ranging from tech firms to financial services and automobile manufacturers. Govt. of Japan has warned its companies last year that it should consider moving elsewhere in Europe to avoid messy Brexit as trade barriers of EU could wipe out their profits.