Philips to close down UK factory citing ‘geopolitical challenges’, threatening 430 jobs

‘Philips needs to pro-actively mitigate the potential impact of various ongoing geopolitical challenges,' the firm said.

Philips Source: Bloomberg

Dutch multi-national electronics firm Philips will be closing a factory in the United Kingdom (UK) due to ‘ongoing geopolitical challenges’ and foreseen ‘obstructions that may affect its manufacturing operations’.

The factory which produces baby bottles and hires around 430 people, is located in Suffolk, Southeast of England. Philips said it will close the factory down in 2020 and transfer the work back to Netherlands, its home base.

‘Philips needs to pro-actively mitigate the potential impact of various ongoing geopolitical challenges, including uncertainties and possible obstructions that may affect its manufacturing operations,’ the conglomerate said in its announcement.

‘Philips has therefore been reconfiguring its supplier base and supply chains in North America, Europe and Asia as appropriate.’

The firm employs some 1,500 workers in the UK.

Philips had earlier warned of its contingency plans to shift from the UK due to Brexit. It had previously said that an ongoing customs union with the European Union was a minimum requirement for its operations.

The announcement from Philips comes hot on the heels of internal political strive seen on British land. Earlier this week, the UK Parliament had rejected its prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Brexit vote defeat leads discussion back to the drawing board

Mrs May suffered a crushing defeat and lost 432 votes to 202 in Parliament this week over the divorce terms she had reached with Brussels for the UK.

The lack of backing for her Brexit deal led to a no-confidence vote tabled by the Labour Party's opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, but she survived that round with a narrow win of 325 votes over 306 votes.

Although Mrs May has invited opposition party leaders to hold urgent talks to draft a “plan B” Brexit deal, the prime minister does not seem to be compromising as she is not budging on key aspects of her original deal, much to the dismay of opposition party leaders.

The British prime minister continues to believe that it is her duty to deliver on the British people’s instruction to leave the European Union, she had said in a speech outside Downing Street on Wednesday night.

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