Billionaire engineer, Sir James Dyson, has recently spoken out about how he believes the EU Referendum result will affect the future of business, and why independence is key to success.
Sir James began his career as a leading inventor with the release of the Dyson dual cyclone vacuum. Since then the company has gone on to branch into other areas of engineering design by developing fans, hand dryers, hair dryers and their most recent venture, batteries.
Dyson’s research and development centre has recently been expanded with the addition of a £250m addition, nicknamed D9. The centre is based on a 56 acre campus in Wiltshire, dotted with engineering inspiration such as a cut in half Mini, a working jet engine and a lighting jet fighter that hangs over staff as they eat in the cafeteria.
The industrial designer was one of the only leaders in business to publicly announce his stance on the Brexit debate, and has since the referendum spoken for the first time about the outcome’s effect on businesses;
“I don’t want to be arrogant about this, but I don’t understand why people are uncertain. I think it is something put around.”
If you are a business, do you actually say, ‘I am not going to make a decision to invest in that factory or I am not going to make a decision to set up in Europe because of this potential 3% [tax].’ As a business, are you actually stopping and not investing because of that? If you were, you would be mad because currency can move 10% in a couple of days. A 3% import duty is not something to worry about.”
Sir James, who was in the Prime Minister’s business advisory group for five years, went on to expand his belief that businesses should be, if anything, more certain than before; “The trend is towards free trade. The failure of Europe to negotiate a free trade agreement with America, the TTIP, is really worrying. That is uncertainty.
“If you are waiting for Europe to negotiate free trade agreements China, North America and so on, that is a far greater uncertainty then whether or not you pay 3% to go into Europe.”
Sovereignty is the most important reason
Commenting on how his own company will benefit from the result, he said; “A lot of people who want to be engineers come from India, China, and the far east. In Pune [India] there are 40,000 engineers that come out of Pune University every year, which is twice as many as the British [engineers] that come out of the whole of British universities.”
“It is a positive because we can now negotiate trade agreements with countries much more easily and flexibly on our own then we ever could with 29 countries in Europe”.
Independence is another theme Sir James holds as one of the most important when growing your own business, and still owns 100% of his own company.
“Sovereignty is the most important reason [to leave the EU]”. He added, “I would say that, wouldn’t I? I started my own business. I wanted to be independent as a business. I don’t want to be part of a conglomerate.
“I see huge strength in independence, making your own decisions and choosing the people who run your own enterprise. Being subservient to Europe, having to do what Europe says, is entirely not in this country’s interest.”
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