Apple boss Tim Cook said the UK will do fine after Brexit, but of course he was nice to his hosts

It was entirely within the interests of the tech giant's CEO to turn on the charm with the UK's Brexit backing Government when he met with the PM 

James Moore
Friday 10 February 2017 17:06 GMT
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Apple CEP Tim Cook
Apple CEP Tim Cook (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

And now for the good news. Apple boss Tim Cook says don’t worry about all that Brexit stuff. The UK will do great! He’s a big believer in us.

But before you put on your headphones in case the office berk with the Union flag cufflinks and the UKIP tie catches your eye, fear not. It’s easy enough to shut him up.

Of course Mr Cook said he’s optimistic about the UK. It’s the diplomatic thing to do when you’re meeting a Prime Minister who has set her heart on Brexit.

It wouldn’t do him any good to point out that it is one of the two or three stupidest ideas in modern politics and the Government is making a hash of it, now would it.

And of course, Mr Cook reiterated the tech giant’s plan to build a new headquarters at Battersea Power Station. Apple doesn’t much like paying corporation tax. The UK’s rates are already low and Ms May has indicated that they could be lowered still further after Brexit. That sort of thing is music to the ears of a multinational like Apple.

London is also a global city with a ready supply of talented people knocking around, and Apple, as a global business, isn't going to feel the impact of Brexit like a domestic UK outfit that trades with Europe.

By cooing sweet nothings in public, Mr Cook was doing a good job of diplomacy and the right thing for Apple.

You can bet that in private, he will probably have told Ms May that he’s very keen to be able to import clever, bright and talented people from overseas where he needs them.

Apple likes immigration, because it benefits from it, just as Britain does, as those of us that live happily in the middle of its multicultural, multi race and multi faith communities have long known.

Mr Cook might be inclined to speak out against Ms May in future if she follows President Donald Trump too far down the immigrants not welcome here line, his opposition to which he re-iterated.

But he’s clearly prepared to leave that for another day, at least in public. He only needs to speak out if and when Britain's immigration policy becomes a problem for Apple.

Whatever Mr Cook is, he’s no fool.

If your Brexit backing colleague still insists on spouting a lot of nonsense, and is threatening to continue dong so down the pub after work, you could remind him of what Mr Cook said to students in Glasgow, where he received an honorary doctorate.

He told them not to work for money because “it will wear out fast, or you’ll never make enough and you will never be happy, one or the other.”

This from a man who personally makes more money than the GDP of some small countries.

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