Sony is taking its electronics UK headquarters to the Netherlands in a bid to better manage the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
According to The Telegraph, Sony joins other Japanese tech firms such as Panasonic in relocating UK businesses to elsewhere in Europe "as the UK risked being classed as a tax haven post-Brexit by Japanese authorities".
Right now, it’s thought that the merger – which is scheduled to complete by March 29th, 2019 – primarily affects the company’s electronics business, which is currently based in Weybridge, UK. It will see the Weybridge site merge with its Dutch HQ in Hoofddorp, near Schiphol, making Amsterdam the "legal headquarters" of its £3.3bn European business. The deal will reportedly help "continue business as usual without disruption" and will not result in the move of staff, business functions, or job losses.
As reported by DutchNews.nl, Sony Europe BV was established in May last year and the merger documents with Sony Europe Limited were filed with Dutch authorities in November 2018.
There are currently no reported plans to merge or relocate Sony’s PlayStation HQ, which is currently located in London.
Anti-Brexit games industry campaign group, Games4EU published a report on the impact that a no-deal or hard Brexit would have on the UK games industry. The 51-page report looks into the numerous damaging outcomes of such a move – both to campaign against our exit from the EU, and to prepare businesses for the worst-case scenario.
"A no deal Brexit would be a disaster for interactive entertainment, a hard Brexit not much better, and we’ve been sleepwalking towards it since 2016. The legal, regulatory and tax rules in areas like customs, VAT, data, immigration to name a few – this is the bedrock on which UK interactive entertainment was built," Jas Purewal, a leading solicitor in the games sector with Purewal Partners, said at the time. "If the UK leaves the EU things will be far harder for us but there has been very little industry discussion and no guidance from key industry stakeholders so far.
"This guide and the other work Games4EU is doing is intended to help the industry and gamers to understand, prepare for and fight the very real dangers posed by Brexit."