Analysis

Sucking it up: UK manufacturers look in vain for Sir James Dyson’s Brexit benefits

UK-based firms feel anything but liberated by Britain’s new trade relations with the EU, reports Ben Chu

Saturday 17 April 2021 20:16
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<p>‘We’ve got our freedom’ says Sir James Dyson – but at what cost for UK exporters to the EU?</p>

‘We’ve got our freedom’ says Sir James Dyson – but at what cost for UK exporters to the EU?

T

he Brexit-supporting manufacturing entrepreneur Sir James Dyson gave an interview this week in which he suggested the UK’s departure from the European Union’s single market and customs union on 31 December was already yielding benefits for British businesses.

“We’ve got our freedom, we can make trade agreements with other countries outside Europe [and] we can employ people from all around the world,” said Sir James, who moved Dyson’s manufacturing operations out of the UK almost two decades ago and shifted its corporate headquarters to Singapore in 2019.

Speaking from Dyson’s Wiltshire innovation campus, where Sir James was announcing 200 new jobs, the billionaire designer of vacuum cleaners and hand driers suggested to the BBC that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was evidence of this freedom dividend.

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