Some British customers are saying they will boycott Dyson for moving its HQ to Singapore

Sir James Dyson, founder and chief engineer of Dyson, and Singapore’s former Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran at the launch of Dyson’s Singapore Technology Centre back in 2017.
The New Paper

It was an announcement filled with highlights. Not only did Dyson cross 1 billion pounds (US$1.3 billion) in annual profit for the first time, Dyson Automotive also opened a 200 million pound Hullavington Technology Campus in the UK.

But it seems no one on the Internet heard any of that.

Instead, the focus is now on Dyson’s announcement that it will be moving its corporate headquarters from Malmesbury, Wiltshire, to the little island of Singapore.

The company that revolutionised vacuum cleaners with its bagless technology said during its Wednesday (Jan 23, Singapore time) announcement that its senior executives would be making the move to the new HQ once paperwork was complete. Its CEO, Jim Rowan, is already based here.

In October last year, Dyson had also announced it would build its electric car in Singapore because the city-state is geographically closer to Dyson’s suppliers and Asian markets.

Read also: Why did Dyson pick Singapore to build its electric car? Here are some possible reasons

Rowan said in his announcement that the move had nothing to do with Brexit. “If your supply chain is in Asia, and you are manufacturing in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, then obviously you don’t get badly affected with those changes post-Brexit,” he said.

According to him, the move was part of “the evolution” of the company.

“Our growth rate in Asia has doubled most other places in the world over recent years,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying, adding that the move was aimed at “future proofing” Dyson.

But some critics are not convinced.

Billionaire founder and inventor Sir James Dyson had been an outspoken Brexit supporter in 2016, and the announcement has caused him to be branded by some as a hypocrite.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran was quoted by The Guardian as saying: “This is staggering hypocrisy for Brexit-backing businessman James Dyson. It is utterly unbelievable that the business face of Brexit is moving yet another part of his business out of the UK.”

British Labour MP Wes Streeting tweeted: “The rank hypocrisy of James Dyson. No sense of responsibility to his workers or to his country.”

MP for East Surrey Sam Gyimah also took to Twitter to call the decision a “betrayal” of the public who support a no-deal Brexit.

Scientists for EU called the announcement “staggering”.

Its founder Mike Galsworthy also chimed in.

Both Andrew Adonis, a British Labour politician and former transport minister, and Mr Ethical Nicholas Wilson, an anti-corruption campaigner, pointed out that Singapore has a free trade agreement with the EU.

Presenter Andrew Neil also weighed in, saying: “With friends like Dyson, Brexiteers don’t really need enemies.”

And the anger doesn’t stop there. Over on Dyson’s official account, some consumers have left comments saying they will now boycott the brand.

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