Another week, another iteration of Prime Minister’s Questions where Theresa May continues to blame Jeremy Corbyn, and indeed anyone else, for her own inability to do something, anything, to bring the nightmare that is Brexit to an end. It’s also a splendid opportunity to see the rank hypocrisy on show among the Brexiteer businessmen who tell us that life outside the EU will be wonderful, while leaving the country in droves.
One of those heroic captains of industry is James Dyson, who built a great British success story before it all went sour and he moved production to the Far East. Now he has decided to move the HQ of his empire from the UK to Singapore. That’s in addition to his urging Britain to walk away from negotiations with the EU.
As the Mail told readers, “Billionaire inventor James Dyson has torn into the EU for demanding a sky-high divorce bill and said Britain should walk away from the Brexit talks. The vacuum cleaner innovator blamed the current stalemate on Brussels and said it is 'outrageous' the EU is demanding 'billions and billions' of pounds from Britain. And he said the UK should just walk away from talks because the member states of the bloc need Britain to sell its products to”. That’s double hypocrisy. And here’s why.
One, Dyson has crossed the floor in no style at all since 2000, when the BBC reported “Maverick entrepreneur James Dyson has reopened business's battle of the euro by threatening to switch investment to the Far East unless the UK joins the single currency. Mr Dyson, inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, says in an interview with The Observer on Sunday that it is ‘suicidal’ of Britain not to take up the euro”.
You read that right. And the Beeb did strike a mildly sceptical note, adding “While Mr Dyson in February revealed his pro-euro sympathies, the comments were made before his company opened a Malaysian plant, now responsible for 5-10% of output”. It’s responsible for rather more than that now. And Two, then came the HQ move to Singapore.
As the Guardian has reported, “Sir James Dyson … is moving the headquarters of his vacuum cleaner and hair dryer technology company to Singapore … The Dyson chief executive, Jim Rowan, said the move from Wiltshire to Singapore had ‘nothing to do with Brexit’ but was about ‘future-proofing’ the business”. That’s not quite true, is it?
While Gina Miller observed “Yet another Brexiteer Dyson 'do as I say, not as I do' jumping ship. Rees Mogg's investment fund warned clients of dangers of hard #Brexit & [John] Redwood told his @CharlesStanley investors not to invest in the UK”, Andrew Adonis had figured out exactly why Dyson and his pals were moving HQ to Singapore.
“I see why Dyson is moving his HQ to Singapore. 3 months ago Singapore signed a free trade agreement with the EU - so Dyson will have more access to European markets from Singapore than from the UK!”. You read that right.
Dyson urged Britain to walk away, even to the extent of not securing a deal with the EU, while all the time he was planning to move his HQ somewhere which would secure him access to … the EU. As the saying goes, you couldn’t make it up.
Do as I say and not as I do, says James Dyson. There speaks another phoney patriot.
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