Brexit: Vodafone warns it may move HQ out of UK

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UK-based communications giant Vodafone – one of the UK’s largest companies – has said it may move its headquarters out of London to a location in Europe, following the Brexit vote.

The decision is dependent on the UK’s future stance on the movement of people, capital, and goods, said the company: “The UK’s membership of the European Union has been an important factor in the growth of a company such as Vodafone. Freedom of movement of people, capital, and goods are integral to the operation of any pan-European business.”

Vodafone is but the latest company to issue such a warning. Several international banks are also considering their options, given that the EU banking ‘passport’ which allows pan-European banks to be run from the City may be torn up.

Negotiations between Westminster and Brussels are at the earliest stages following revelations that the Leave camp had drawn up no post-Brexit strategy for the UK.

The irony for Leave campaigners who secured the majority vote in the referendum is that the UK may be left with nearly all of the impacts of EU membership, but without any influence over policymaking, and have succeeded only in damaging the UK’s international standing and credit rating.

Another long-term risk is the possible breakup of the UK, spearheaded by Scotland. If Scotland succeeds in negotiating ongoing membership of the EU, post-independence, then it would secure an enormous competitive advantage in attracting international trade.

About Author

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton is a widely respected business and technology journalist, author, and magazine editor. In recent years he has been Editor of Computing (where he remains Consulting Editor); co-founder and Managing Editor of Professional Outsourcing – a magazine he developed from scratch and grew to be the leading magazine in its field; Editor of CBR in its most successful year; and co-founder and launch Editor of Sourcingfocus.com. Today, he is co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, and founder, designer, and Editor in Chief of Strategist magazine (UK), the boardroom magazine that provides strategic insight for business leaders, and of its mobile-first digital edition at www.iamtheStrategist.com. He is also co-founding Editor of Child Internet Safety magazine, and a contributing Editor of Diginomica.com. Over the years Chris has also written for, among many others, The Guardian, The Times, the BBC, and Computer Weekly. He is the author of several successful books on digital media, and a commissioning editor of more than 50 books.