Brexiteer James Dyson to make new electric cars in... Singapore
PUBLISHED: 10:26 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:18 23 October 2018
Passionate Leaver Sir James Dyson has delivered a stirring vote of confidence in Brexit Britain - by manufacturing his new electric cars in Singapore.
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The announcement ends hopes for a site in Britain.
The firm confirmed to staff otoday that the company's board had ratified the decision to construct its first "advanced automotive manufacturing" facility in the Asian country.
The factory is scheduled for completion in 2020 and is part of a £2.5bn global investment drive in new technology.
But it comes despite billionaire chairman and founder Sir James Dyson being one of the loudest business backers of Brexit and who has claimed it was a unique chance to “supercharge” the economy.
Just in August he told The Sun that Britain was "approaching its own change", saying: "If we embrace it, Brexit can supercharge British technology and refocus minds on global trade.
“We are ambitious for our future, so we are pressing ahead under our own steam. Let’s be bold and show a spirit of independence, enterprise and optimism.
“Embracing change and taking a different approach has exciting outcomes. There is scope for Dyson to do even more, if only the government recognised the opportunity and supported British companies to grow."
He has previously urged ministers to walk away from talks with the EU without a deal, saying “they’ll come to us” and arguing that European firms would want to sell their goods in Britain rather than lose market access.
But today Dyson chief executive Jim Rowan said: "The decision of where to make our car is complex, based on supply chains, access to markets, and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions.
"Our existing footprint and team in Singapore, combined with the nation's significant advanced manufacturing expertise, made it a frontrunner.
"Singapore also offers access to high-growth markets as well as an extensive supply chain and a highly skilled workforce.
"Singapore has a comparatively high cost base, but also great technology expertise and focus. It is therefore the right place to make high quality technology loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle."
Labour MP Ian Murray, a champion of the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, said: “Sir James Dyson was a prominent campaigner for Brexit, unlike most business leaders who recognised the huge risk to Britain’s economy.
“Now his UK-based company has chosen to build its new electric car in Singapore. It’s hardly a vote of confidence in global Britain.
“When even someone who claims there will be a resurgence in British manufacturing after Brexit isn’t prepared to put his money where his mouth is, it raises serious questions about the future of our economy and the impact on jobs and livelihoods as a result of Brexit.
“The only way to rescue Britain’s economy is to have a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal with the option of remaining in the EU.”
The firm was keen to stress its commitment to Britain, saying it was investing £200m in new buildings and testing facilities at its campus at Hullavington Airfield.
The company bought the disused airfield two years ago and has already renovated two hangars at the 517-acre site.
Dyson employs more than 12,000 people across the world, with 4,800 working in the UK.
The company, best known for its vacuum cleaners and other domestic appliances, revealed last year that it has been working on developing an electric vehicle.
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