‘Almost half of US companies eyeing Brexit moves’ – survey

Over 40 per cent of American companies with a UK base are considering relocating at least partly due to fears of a hard Brexit, says survey from global law firm Gowling WLG.

More than 40 per cent of American firms with a UK base are actively contemplating relocating some activities and staff to elsewhere in Europe because of fears of a hard Brexit, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

Gowling WLG survey

The survey of more than 500 US company executives by global law firm Gowling WLG showed larger companies, particularly those involved in finance, life sciences and the food and drink industry, were most likely to be considering moving, while those involved aerospace were the least likely.Not surprisingly, perhaps, the extent of a company’s business with the rest of the EU was a major determinant in relocation issues, which have been sparked by the UK referendum decision to leave the EU. Firms were also putting investment decisions in Britain on hold until the course of Brexit negotiations became clear.Bernardine Adkins, head of EU trade and competition at Gowling, said, “The strong UK-US trade relationship that has been carefully nurtured over the past 50 years is in serious jeopardy. This is despite a wide consensus amongst US firms that the unique dynamics of the UK market and its access to the rest of the EU drive their preference for doing business here.”Concerns that Brexit will have an effect on current investment decisions mean this needs addressing now, not later.”