Sony to move European HQ out of UK

The headquarters of electronics giant Sony is to move from the UK to the Netherlands to avoid Brexit-related disruption, according to BBC News.

The company said the move would help to avoid customs issues connected to the UK’s exit from the European Union. The company will not move personnel or operations from existing UK sites, despite the change in official HQ.

The move is the latest in a series of signals from Japanese companies that there is serious concern about the impact of Brexit on trading conditions in the UK.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed concern about Brexit on a recent visit to the UK, saying it could hurt the Japanese companies that employ 150,000 people within the country.

Panasonic recently announced a similar move in HQ, but confirmed this would impact fewer than 10 of its 30 employees in the UK HQ.

Sony spokesperson Takashi Iida said the move would mean only common customs procedures would be required for Sony’s European operations following Brexit.

Japanese firms MUFG, Nomura Holdings, Daiwa Securities and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group have also said they plan to move their European headquarters away from the UK to set up in mainland Europe.

Carmakers Toyota and Honda have also announced plans to freeze investment or operations in the UK due to Brexit.