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Brexit backer Dyson moves head office from UK to Singapore

Brexit-backing businessman Sir James Dyson is to relocate the head office of the design and technology firm he founded from the UK to Singapore.

Moving Dyson's head office from the UK means the firm will no longer be a British-registered company and Singapore will become its main tax base.

Dyson's decision to move its headquarters to the Asian city state from Malmesbury, Wiltshire, comes after last October's announcement that the company - best known for its vacuum cleaners and other domestic appliances - will make its new electric cars in Singapore , rather than the UK.

Company founder Sir James Dyson - knighted in 2007 for services to industrial design - has been widely criticised for being pro-Brexit but not being prepared to keep his business interests within the UK.

The firm said in a statement: "An increasing majority of Dyson's customers and all of our manufacturing operations are now in Asia; this shift has been occurring for some time and will quicken as Dyson brings its electric vehicle to market.

"We are now at a point where Dyson's corporate head office will relocate there to reflect the increasing importance of Asia to Dyson's business."

Dyson chief executive, Jim Rowan, insisted the relocation was not related to Brexit or the lowering of corporation tax.

He said: "The move is nothing to do with Brexit or tax, it's about making sure we are future proofed.

"There are huge revenue opportunities in Singapore, China is the poster child of that."

By moving to Singapore, Dyson stands to take advantage of the free trade agreement between Singapore and the European Union, forged last year.

The company would not have access to the same concessions from either entity were it to remain in the UK after Brexit.

Dyson announced the move alongside its full year results for 2018, as it reported that profits broke the £1bn barrier for the first time.

Profits jumped 33% to £1.1bn, on turnover up 28% to £4.4bn.

News that one Britain's most successful manufacturers is preparing to move its headquarters out of the UK comes at a sensitive time for international businesses based in the country.

Several car makers, including Nissan, Ford, Toyota and Honda, have been warning about the rising prospects of a no-deal Brexit, which would jeopardise their operations in Britain.