Wednesday 23 January 2019 3:11 pm

Sony confirms plans to shift European headquarters to Amsterdam in Brexit move

Sony has moved its European headquarters to Amsterdam to safeguard itself from possible disruption from Brexit.

The Japanese tech firm confirmed the move last night.

Sony said it had established a new legal entity in the Netherlands which it will merge its UK-based business into.

In a statement Sony said: “In this way we can continue our business as usual without disruption once the UK leaves the EU. All our existing European business functions, facilities, departments, sites and location of our people will remain unchanged.”

Fellow Japanese tech giant Panasonic confirmed in August that it was moving its headquarters to Amsterdam due to concerns that it could face a hefty tax bill once the UK leaves the EU.

Speaking at the time Laurent Abadie, chief executive of Panasonic Europe, told Japanese business publication Nikkei that there were fears Japan will officially designate the UK as a tax haven if corporate taxes are lowered to attract businesses after Brexit.

Other companies looking to insure themselves against Brexit disruption include P&O which said this week that it would register its fleet of cross-channel ferries under the flag of Cyprus because of fears of Brexit disruption.

A P&O spokesperson said: “In advance of Britain leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019, we undertook a review of the flag status of our ships on the English Channel. For operational and accounting reasons, we have concluded that the best course of action is to re-flag all ships to be under the Cyprus flag."

"The Cyprus flag is on the 'white list' of both the Paris and Tokyo memoranda of understanding, resulting in fewer inspections and delays, and will result in significantly more favourable tonnage tax arrangements as the ships will be flagged in an EU member state. We have no plans to make any other changes, including the terms and conditions of any of our seafarers, as a result of the new arrangements.”