Manufacturers targeted with 'sweetheart' deals to quit UK because of Brexit

Major British manufacturers are being offered sweetheart deals to relocate plants abroad as opportunistic countries gamble that the UK will blow out of the EU without a deal.
Incentives to lure businesses overseas include offers of building roads and energy networks, the dedicated use of a port, as well as decade-long tax-free periods.
Such offers are not uncommon from regions looking to boost their economies. However, there has been a blitz of delegations on charm offensives in the past two months as it looked increasingly unlikely that the UK will secure a deal.
Overtures to major manufacturers are understood to have been particularly heavy from cities and regional bodies in France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and some eastern European locations. Outside of the EU, companies have been courted by North Africa nations and Asian countries.
Manufacturers targeted with 'sweetheart' deals to quit UK because of Brexit

About 2.7m people are employed in manufacturing in the UK 

EEF, the trade body which represents the manufacturing industry in the UK and which employs 2.7m people, said it has become aware of approaches being made on a “daily” basis.
Stephen Phipson, chief executive of the association, said: “Over the last few months concerted efforts are being made by major European cities and other governments to attract the jewels of British manufacturing away from the UK. This has taken a step up in the past few weeks.”
No specific areas of the sector are being targeted and approaches are understood to be across a broad spectrum. However, major companies  are the focus, a strategy which could “scoop up” their supply chain, which will want to be near the biggest customers.
“As talk of ‘no deal’ has become louder and the potential damage to supply chains ever greater, it’s only natural that companies are having their heads turned by attractive offers to move overseas,” said Mr Phipson.
“Offers have included free land, tax breaks, building roads and supporting infrastructure and in one case even the offer of a dedicated port.”
Manufacturers targeted with 'sweetheart' deals to quit UK because of Brexit

EEF boss Stephen Phipson warned of opportunistic approaches to Uk manufacturers
Many foreign companies have British manufacturing bases and this overseas ownership could make them especially vulnerable to incentives from their home nations, he added.
Mr Phipson called on the Government to act quickly to give clarity to business on what a Brexit deal will look like, so industry can work out how to prepare fully for leaving the EU.  
“The coming weeks are crucial in making it absolutely clear to industry that a deal which is pragmatic and realistic can be achieved and that Britain will remain a welcome home for business,” the EEF chief said.
Last year, Paris came to London with a similar campaign to attract bankers, staging a glitzy event at the Shard promoting the country’s food, culture and even romance.
However, financial staff mocked the campaign’s’ attempts to portray France as a pro-business, light touch regulation country with flexible labour laws and low taxes.
Frankfurt, Dublin and Milan are among cities to have also flagged their charm in the City of London, with advertising campaigns hoping to draw away financial businesses because of Brexit.
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