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Alex Webb

Brexit Sucks the Air Out of Dyson's Asia Move

The inventor's decision to move his HQ to Singapore isn’t all about Britain's decision to leave the EU.

James Dyson, founder and chairman of Dyson Ltd.

James Dyson, founder and chairman of Dyson Ltd.

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Vacuum billionaire James Dyson’s decision to move the headquarters of his eponymous firm from an English market town to the bustle of Singapore will inevitably be seen as a verdict on Brexit – whatever the company says to the contrary.

Dyson supported Britain’s campaign to leave the European Union, citing labor laws which he said force him to hire engineers from the trading bloc instead of better qualified equivalents from, for example, Asia. With Brexit stuck in parliamentary purgatory, it looks like the entrepreneur may have just decided to cut and run to where the talent, the manufacturing and the market are. If you can’t re-create Singapore, move to Singapore.