Vodafone has issued a statement warning that it could move its headquarters from the UK following the country's vote to leave the EU.
The telecoms firm said that its main offices could move depending on the outcome of Britain’s negotiations to leave the EU.
The company, which currently employs 13,000 people in the UK, emailed a statement to several media outlets saying it felt that it was important for its business to have access to the EU’s free “movement of people, capital and goods.”
“It remains unclear at this point how many of those positive attributes will remain in place once the process of the UK’s exit from the European Union has been completed. It is therefore not yet possible to draw any firm conclusions regarding the long-term location for the headquarters of the group,” the statement added.
It continued that it would take “whatever decisions are appropriate” once the outcome of the talks is confirmed.
It is understood that any relocation plans would only affect the group’s head offices in Paddington, and not its operating division in Newbury.
Another company that is facing the prospect of moving its UK HQ is EasyJet, with its chief executive Carolyn McCall telling Channel 4 that it “remains to be seen” whether the budget airline will keep its head office at Luton airport. Irish-based rival Ryanair has said it will “pivot” all of its growth into the EU market following a Brexit.
Sky News, meanwhile, reports credit card giant Visa could be forced to relocate to the continent due to an agreement to keep transaction data in Europe.
The government held a summit for business leaders yesterday hosted by business minister Sajid Javid, who said maintaining access to the European single market would be a “number one priority” for the government in a bid to ease concern.
He added that major overseas investors remained unconcerned about the political ambiguity in the UK at the moment, pointing to Chinese company Huawei which promised that an agreed $1.3bn UK investment would go ahead as planned.