IT firm re­as­sures its staff over UK fu­ture post Brexit

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE Ja­panese IT firm Fu­jitsu has re­as­sured its staff it is ‘com­mit­ted to the UK’ af­ter the Brexit vote sparked fears the com­pany could pull out of the coun­try and lead to job losses in Hayes.

The multi­na­tional com­pany em­ploys around 14,000 peo­ple across the coun­try, many of whom are at the Hayes-based hub the Fu­jitsu Lab­o­ra­to­ries of Europe.

On Septem­ber 5, Ja­pan’s am­bas­sador warned that Ja­panese busi­nesses would con­sider pulling out of the coun­try if ‘re­quests are not met’ in the Brexit deal, caus­ing con­cerns over the fu­ture of Fu­jitsu in Hayes.

Lib­eral Demo­crat Trea­sury spokeswoman Su­san Kramer said: “[Prime Min­is­ter] Theresa May promised that Bri­tain was open for busi­ness but los­ing Ja­panese blue chip firms would be a mas­sive act of self-harm by the Con­ser­va­tives, and Hayes can ill af­ford to lose jobs.

“The Gov­ern­ment must give ur­gent re-as­sur­ance to Fu­jitsu that Bri­tain’s num­ber one pri­or­ity is to re­main part of the Sin­gle Mar­ket to pro­tect jobs and grow our econ­omy.”

Her com­ments came shortly af­ter the Ja­panese Am­bas­sador to Bri­tain, Koji Tsu­ruoka, said com­pa­nies might con­sider leav­ing the UK if Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions are not suc­cess­ful.

Mr Tsu­ruoka told BBC Ra­dio 4 on Mon­day: “There is a ne­go­ti­a­tion that will have to be con­ducted. If there are vari­a­tions, if those re­quests are not met, it will be up to the in­dus­try to de­cide what to do.”

How­ever, he added that it was ‘very dif­fi­cult to imag­ine’ Ja­panese firms like Fu­jitsu pulling out of the coun­try en­tirely.

A spokesman for Fu­jitsu said: “We want to re­it­er­ate Fu­jitsu’s com­mit­ment to the UK, our UK cus­tomers and our UK em­ploy­ees.

“As the process of the UK’s with­drawal be­comes clearer we will con­tinue to mon­i­tor what it means for our busi­ness not just in the UK but across Europe.”

They added: “In the mean­time our pri­or­ity is to de­liver the best pos­si­ble re­sults for our cus­tomers and to con­tinue to grow our busi­ness, which I am con­fi­dent we will do.”

Labour MP for Hayes and Har­ling­ton John McDon­nell said he will be work­ing to re­as­sure busi­nesses in Hayes and West Dray­ton.

Mr McDon­nell, who is also Shadow Chan­cel­lor, said: “It’s be­come ob­vi­ous to ev­ery­one now that the Gov­ern­ment didn’t plan prop­erly for a Leave vote, which is why there is so much un­cer­tainty at the mo­ment.

“The is­sue for us in Hayes is that we’re the lo­gis­ti­cal cen­tre of Bri­tain be­cause of Heathrow and we can’t af­ford to lose com­pa­nies such as Fu­jitsu that we have here.

“In the com­ing pe­riod I will be look­ing to re­as­sure com­pa­nies based in Hayes and West Dray­ton that in the ne­go­ti­a­tions that are now tak­ing place with our Euro­pean part­ners that Labour will be push­ing the Gov­ern­ment to get the best deal we pos­si­bly can to re­main open to busi­ness.”

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