While many UK businessmen have spoken about their worries over the impact of Brexit on the economy, some have been strong supporters from the start. James Dyson, Tim Martin and Anthony Bamford to name a few, have not only supported but actively tried to engage people to vote for Brexit, pre-referendum. Each having their own reason to do so from ‘the benefits from setting our own trade policy’ to ‘the ability to alter tariff barriers on imports’, however one thing is inarguable – they all want a stronger more independent Britain.
As businessmen and some of the wealthiest people in UK, their opinion and economic influence is not taken lightly by the public or the government. People like James Dyson and Anthony Bamford have had more than just a successful career or lucrative business, they have the ability to make real impacts within the British economy. Their investments, factory placement and employability could be argued to be the pillars on which the UK market stands. However, could they do more?
In recent weeks it has made news that James Dyson will build his new car plant in Asia, as none of Dyson products are produced here in the UK this is not a shock, but is it a kick in the teeth? Dyson argued the reason for this decision was purely based on non-financial contributors, including Brexit. For many other major manufacturing companies, who produce in the UK, Brexit poses a direct threat to them. Unstable deals and the lack of confidence in the UK has already had major impacts on some business’, with owners pressuring the Conservatives to get the job done and done right.
These insecure times have had no impression on Dyson however, as all of its manufacturing bases are outside of the UK. This calls into question his bearing on the matter of Brexit, and how fair it was to become such a strong advocate for something when little to none of its potentially disastrous negative consequences affect you.
Contradictory to his views of wanting a stronger and more power Britain, James Dyson seems to lack the genuine intentions to contribute to this. Not to remove credit for the company’s positive impact on the British economy, Dyson has tripled its UK workforce over the past five years and invested £200m into the UK for research. However, this is dwarfed by the incalculable impact Dyson could have on Britain if it started manufacturing here. Employability opportunities, ripple effects on the market and educational benefits to say a few. The truth is that if James Dyson and similar capitalists truly wanted a better Britain they would be doing more in their power to make it happen.
The key issue between Brexit and businessmen lies here: Brexit is not yet defined properly. For few Brexit is a new opportunity to re-shape Britain, for some it is a risky task that requires perseverance and for most it is a government illusion they must just try to survive through.