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Ineos director says Brexit will not impact London HQ move

12 July 2016

Brexit will not affect plans for chemicals giant Ineos to return group headquarters to the UK, according to one of the company’s senior directors. Speaking to Platts, Tom Crotty said the group was relocating a number of offices to the UK from Switzerland and would likely have a 50-50 mix between the two countries when the operation was complete.

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe - Image: Ineos
Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe - Image: Ineos

In March, Ineos, which has a turnover of £18 billion, announced it planned to move its headquarters back to the UK after six years in Switzerland. Founder and chairman Jim Ratcliffe said at the time his company would move its base back to Britain “within three years” with an office in London forming its global base.

“A bit like Shell Anglo-Dutch, we’ll be Anglo-Swiss and we wouldn’t see Brexit impacting that because the businesses that we are primarily focused on in the UK are ones that have a very high UK interest such as our oil and gas business. We’ve now got joint headquarters, London and Geneva,” Crotty said.

He also said he thought Brexit would have a positive impact on the development of the UK’s shale industry.

”We hope Brexit will affect it positively, we’re of the view that even pre-Brexit the UK energy policy is in desperate need of significant overhaul and the UK’s reliance on imported gas in particular is a real weakness in the economy. The government sees that as well which is why I think they’ve been so supportive of shale gas development in the UK. I think post-Brexit that’s even more important and even more critical.”

Ratcliffe, founder of the UK’s largest private company and operator of the giant Grangemouth refinery in Scotland, said prior to the referendum vote: ‘I think the UK would be perfectly successful as a stand-alone country, part of the European marketplace like Norway and Switzerland, but without the expensive EU bureaucracy.

“Layers and layers of European legislation on top of existing national legislation is making Europe very cumbersome, very inefficient and very expensive. The Brits are perfectly capable of managing the Brits and don’t need Brussels telling them how to manage things. European countries do not want to be without the UK marketplace ... we are mutually interdependent in the market sense.

“I just don’t believe in the concept of a United States of Europe. It’s not viable and it’s not a concept anyone really wants. Brits are British, Italians are Italian and Germans are German... We are independent countries.”

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