Panasonic to move European HQ from UK to Amsterdam

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters

The Japanese company's move is the latest sign of concern from the business community over the protracted Brexit negotiations.

Laurent Abadie, CEO of Panasonic Europe, told the Nikkei that the headquarters would move from outside London to Amsterdam in October.

Abadie says Britain's plans to lower corporate tax to retain worldwide companies within its borders could earn it a tax haven designation and this would make the companies liable for a vast tax bill at home.

Panasonic is reportedly moving its European HQ from London to Amsterdam because it fears Brexit Britain being seen as a tax haven by the Japanese government.

A spokesperson for the firm could not comment on the numbers of people who would have to move to Amsterdam. The Nikkei report says that this move will only directly affect 20 of the 30 staff in Panasonic's London offices, with 10 remaining behind to handle investor relations.

A number of other Japanese firms have revealed plans to move their European bases out of the United Kingdom, including banking giants Nomura Holdings, Daiwa Securities, MUFG and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.

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Japan is a major investor in the United Kingdom, where more than 800 Japanese companies employ more than 100,000 people.

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the European Union, direct from Business Insider's political reporters.

Carmakers Honda and Nissan are also among a raft of Japanese firms that employ an estimated 142,000 staff in the UK.

And Nissan is already preparing to axe hundreds of jobs at its factory in the northeastern city of Sunderland - which produces 500,000 vehicles per year - as British sales slump.

Earlier this week, the head of Keidanren, which represents 1,000 Japanese firms, expressed his frustration in an interview with the Financial Times. "Everyone is seriously concerned", said Hiroaki Nakanishi.

"Various scenarios get discussed, from no Brexit to plunging into Brexit without any kind of deal at all. We're now in a situation where we have to consider what to do in all of them", Nakanishi added.

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