Philips has threatened to pull its manufacturing operations out of Britain in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit.
Such an outcome would be a ‘serious threat’ to the viability of its operations in the country, Philips CEO Frans van Houten said in emailed comments to Bloomberg news agency on Sunday.
‘I am deeply concerned about the competitiveness of our operations in Britain, especially our manufacturing operations,’ the head of the Amsterdam-based medical technology company told Bloomberg.
Van Houten said that additional costs for exports from its babycare products factory in Glemsford, Suffolk would amount to the high single-digits as a percentage of sales in a country outside the EU customs union. Philips employs 1,500 people at the plant and other UK locations.
Philips is already struggling with the volatility of the British pound following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the CEO said. The company is ‘absolutely committed to our current and prospective customers in the country,’ he added.
Philips is not the only company demanding more clarity on Brexit. Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus and BMW are also warning about the consequences of a messy divorce.
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