Dyson Confirm Company’s Head Office to Move to Singapore from UK

Dyson have confirmed that they are moving their company’s Head Office from the UK to Singapore, in a move which they denied was linked to Brexit. Jim Rowan, the company’s Chief Executive, said that the move to Singapore would “make us future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities.”

Sam Gyimah, the Conservative MP for East Surrey, said on Twitter:

“Dyson’s decision to move his HQ to Singapore reflects his narrow business interest. This is not just a transfer of two people. When HQs move, so does the intellectual property. Betrayal of the public who put their faith in him as a British business advocating a No Deal Brexit.”

Lord Adonis, the former Labour Cabinet Minister, also posted on Twitter:

“I see why Dyson is moving his HQ to Singapore. 3 months ago Singapore signed a free trade agreement with the EU – so Dyson will have more access to European markets from Singapore than from the UK!”

Rebecca Long Bailey, the Shadow Business Secretary, said in a statement:

“Dyson’s move to Singapore is a shocking blow to workers who now potentially face unemployment, but it is also a huge blow to the Government’s industrial strategy. For too long this Government has allowed a culture of short termism to work its way into some of our greatest British businesses, whilst those businesses doing the right thing and investing in their communities and workforce for the long term are left wanting, with little Government support. It’s about time we future proofed our long term industrial strategy instead of future proofing the short term profits of a select few.”

UK Employment Reaches Record High

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics have shown that employment has reached a record level, reaching a figure of 32.54 million people which is 75.8% of working age people with a job.

Alok Sharma, the Minister of State for Employment, said in a statement:

“Once again, we see a new record employment rate in the UK, 75.8 per cent, with more people in work than ever before. UK workers also got a much needed pay boost before Christmas with wages outpacing inflation for the tenth month in a row in November, growing at the fastest rate in a decade.

There are 328,000 more people in work over the past year, almost entirely driven by full-time jobs as the government delivers an economy that works for the British people.

Our pro-business policies have helped boost private sector employment by 3.8 million since 2010, and as the Resolution Foundation’s latest report shows, the ‘jobs-boom has helped some of the most disadvantaged groups find employment’, providing opportunities across society”.

Government Backs Down and is to Waive £65 Settled Status Fee

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has confirmed that the Government is no longer going to charge EU residents a fee of £65 to apply for settled status in the UK.

The Prime Minister said in a statement in the House of Commons:

“I can confirm today that when we roll out the scheme in full on 30th March, the government will waive the application fee so that there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay. And anyone who has or will apply during the pilot phase will have their fee reimbursed”.

Neil Gray, the SNP MP for Airdrie and Shotts, said during the debate:

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to waive fees for EU nationals, but once again, she is four months behind the Scottish Government. It is clear—I see it again today—that her pig-headed stubbornness and ridiculous red lines have brought us to this position; it is a mess of her making. Why was she not willing to have cross-party talks two and a half years ago?”

Boris Johnson Criticised for False Claims on Turkey

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has been criticised following claims he made this week that he didn’t mention Turkey during the Brexit referendum. Answering a question from a journalist, Johnson said:

“I didn’t say anything about Turkey in the referendum campaign. I didn’t say a thing about Turkey”.

He then added:

“Since I made no remarks, I can’t disown them”.

When a journalist queried this Johnson replied:

“I didn’t make any remarks about Turkey, mate”.

The  BBC fact check team said in a post:

“Boris Johnson talked about the issue of Turkey joining the EU several times in the lead-up to 23 June 2016 and was co-signatory of a letter to the prime minister warning about Turkish membership a week before the vote”.

Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP for Streatham, said on Twitter:

“Earlier today, Boris Johnson claimed that he never spoke about Turkey during the 2016 referendum. It’s yet another lie he’s been caught out on. Don’t let him get away with lying again”.

Sir John Major Calls for Prime Minister to Become Mediator

Sir John Major, the former Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, has called on Theresa May, the Prime Minister, to become a “mediator” in an attempt to break the deadlock on Brexit.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Major said in an interview with Nick Robinson that one way to make progress was “for the Prime Minister to lift some of her red lines”, or alternatively to ask Parliament to “form a consensus”.

Major added:

“The Prime Minister argued valiantly for her deal, she fought for it, she got a deal, but the House of Commons killed it and killed it comprehensively. So her deal is dead and I don’t honestly think that tinkering with it is going to make very much difference, if any difference at all. So the Prime Minister still needs a deal. If she can’t deliver one that Parliament accepts, then she will need to become a facilitator, a mediator, to find out what Parliament will accept. I think there is a way she can do that, I personally would hope that she puts down a series of motions so that Members of Parliament can indicate their preference. We can then see whether there is a consensus in Parliament that is possible, that Parliament would accept. Ideally for that, all party leaders would permit a free vote, so we can get an honest representation of Parliament. That is in the Prime Minister’s interests for this reason, it’s the only way to get an absolutely honest answer from Members of Parliament and if it is a free vote, it removes the danger of resignations from Government or the opposition front bench because they disagree with their leader’s policy”.

Suella Braverman, the Conservative MP for Fareham, rejected the former Prime Minister’s call for Parliament to reach agreement, saying that Major was part of the “elite” and she added “thank you Sir John, but no thanks”.

Jeremy Corbyn Refuses to Enter Brexit Talks Until No-Deal is Ruled Out

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has rejected the call from Theresa May, the Prime Minister, to take part in cross-party talks on Brexit until she rules out the possibility of a no deal. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Corbyn wrote:

“On behalf of the Labour party, I ask you to rule out ‘no deal’ and to immediately end the waste of hundreds of millions of pounds of public money preparing for a ‘no deal’ outcome. The £4.2bn currently allocated to ‘no deal’ planning could significantly improve many of cash-starved public services on which people rely and could transform the lives of those struggling on universal credit.”

The Prime Minister said that it was an “impossible condition” for the British negotiating team to entirely rule out a no deal Brexit. She also confirmed that she would not accept British membership of the customs union and she also wouldn’t support a second referendum.

Harriett Baldwin Summons Zimbabwean Ambassador to Foreign Office

Harriett Baldwin, the Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Minister of State for International Development, has summoned the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the UK to explain the recent unrest in the African country.

There have been fuel and food shortages in the country and a series of riots have taken place. Rumours have been circulating about the force being used by the police and the army, with the Internet being shut down by the Government.

Baldwin said in a statement:

“I have been following the events in Zimbabwe over the last week with growing concern. I summoned the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United Kingdom to attend the Foreign Office on 17 January to discuss the situation. Since the weekend there has been widespread unrest and a heavy security force response, with several people killed and many injured.

While we condemn the violent behaviour of some protesters, and unlawful acts such as arson and looting, we are deeply concerned that Zimbabwe’s security forces have acted disproportionately in response. In particular, there are disturbing reports of use of live ammunition, intimidation and excessive force.

In addition, the Government of Zimbabwe shut off access to the internet on 15 and 16 January and continues to block a number of social media sites.

We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure its security forces act professionally, proportionately and at all times with respect for human life and constitutional rights. We further call on the Government of Zimbabwe to investigate all allegations of human rights abuses. We also urge the reinstatement of full internet access, consistent with citizens’ constitutional right to freedom of expression.”