MPs hit out as pro-Brexit tycoon James Dyson moves vacuum firm to Singapore

Posted On: 
22nd January 2019

MPs have lashed out at vacuum tycoon and pro-Brexit campaigner James Dyson after his firm announced it was moving its headquarters to Singapore.

James Dyson revolutionised the vacuum cleaner and backed Brexit
PA Images

Dyson - which also makes hand dryers and hair dryers - said its head office would move out of Malmesbury in Wiltshire to the city state.

The inventor and engineer who founded the firm was one of the highest-profile business leaders to back quitting the EU at the 2016 referendum.

Since then, he has repeatedly talked up the UK's prospects once it leaves the bloc.

Dyson chief executive Jim Rowan said the decision to relocate out of the UK was not related to Brexit or taxation. He said: “It's to make us future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities.”

But pro-EU MPs who back a second vote on Brexit accused Mr Dyson of “shameless hypocrisy”.

“Many leading Brexiters trumpeted Dyson as a model for how businesses in post-Brexit Britain could thrive,” Labour MP Jo Stevens fumed on behalf of the People’s Vote campaign.

“But the reality of Brexit is jobs being outsourced, companies leaving and investment drying up.”

Best for Britain campaigner and Lib Dem MP Layla Moran said: “It is utterly unbelievable that the business face of Brexit is moving yet another part of his business out of the UK.

“James Dyson can say whatever he wants but he is ditching Britain. This can only be seen as a vote of no confidence in the idea of Brexit Britain.”

Labour MP Wes Streeting wrote on Twitter: “The rank hypocrisy of James Dyson. No sense of responsibility to his workers or to his country.”

Dyson - which has also created new washing machines and humidifyers - designs many of its products in the UK but manufacturers them in Asia.

Two of the company's executives, chief financial officer Jorn Jensen and chief technical officer Martin Bowen, will relocate, with no other jobs or work affected in the UK, according to the company.


Meanwhile, campaigners for a second Brexit vote also attacked Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski after he called on the Polish government to block any attempt to delay the UK departure from the EU.

EU member states would have to give their blessing to the UK government if it wanted to extend the two-year Article 50 process.

MPs have been tabling Commons amendments to try to force the Government to delay the 29 March Brexit date, as parliament remains deadlocked over the PM's deal.

Mr Kawczynski said on Twitter: “Any attempts by Remainer MPs to delay or obstruct must be opposed. Today I have formally asked Polish Government to veto any motions by EU to allow extension of Article 50.”

But Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan shot back: “Nothing says 'protecting sovereignty' like asking a foreign Government to veto decisions being taken by our Parliament.”