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Philips rethinks its UK manufacturing blueprint
22 Oct, 2018

The chief executive of Philips (PHG.AS) says he is worried about the lack of progress on a deal over the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union, and warns that a no-deal Brexit would jeopardise the country’s position as a manufacturing hub.

Philips’ main exporting plant in England is at Glemsford, where Van Houten says he would expect production to fall in case of a “hard” or no-deal Brexit.

“We are looking at a customs union as a minimum (requirement) for a negotiated Brexit," Van Houten says. “If that were not to happen we would need to rethink our manufacturing footprint.”

Frans van Houten, Philips CEO

“As time passes and there is no solution I get increasingly worried that hereafter frictionless
trade between the United Kingdom and European mainland could be at risk,” Frans van Houten concludes, after the company has posted worse-than-expected third-quarter earnings. “Basically the UK as a manufacturing hub for the world would be at risk."

Philips CEO on Brexit