Fearing a commerce deal between Britain and the European Union is likely to be elusive, Snag Tights, a Scottish newcomer within the hosiery enterprise, arrange a hub in Europe this yr to keep away from potential tariffs, bringing 30 jobs to the Dutch city of Venlo.
Snag Chief Working Officer Polly Letson stated she saved listening to informally from British customs officers in 2019 that all the things would end up high quality. However she wasn’t so certain.
“Because it received into the early a part of this yr, particularly with COVID, I used to be simply considering ‘Oh, I wager no one is de facto going to have the ability to repair this by the top of the yr’.”
Dutch officers say Snag, based in 2017, is one in every of a whole lot of corporations to have shifted jobs to the Netherlands from Britain over the previous two years.
Snag’s tights are made and dyed in Italy, and till not too long ago, have been bought and distributed from Livingston, Scotland.
And not using a Britain-EU commerce deal by Jan. 1, Snag’s tights would face 12% in tariffs upon arrival in Scotland from Italy. Then shipments again to Europe — a 3rd of its market and rising — would imply a second 12% tariff on prime of that.
The enterprise risked devastation.
After some wooing by Dutch officers Snag selected to open a brand new packaging and distribution centre in Venlo within the southeast, due its strategic location and the provision of English-speaking staff. Firm founder Brie Learn additionally has Dutch ancestry.
“It gained’t come as a shock that we’re very busy resulting from Brexit,” stated Michiel Bakhuizen, spokesman for the Netherlands’ International Funding Company.
“By way of 2019, 140 corporations opted to maneuver to the Netherlands and we have been speaking to 250 corporations, however that has now elevated to almost 500.”
There was a celebration ambiance on the newly opened Venlo warehouse on Monday, with some staff modelling their favorite merchandise.
“It’s not good for England, nevertheless it’s good for Holland,” stated Kebba Sissawo, a Gambian immigrant who works in packaging, of the corporate’s arrival.
The Venlo hub will serve European prospects, whereas Livingston will serve Britain, in addition to Australia and the U.S. relying on which commerce offers Britain finally strikes.
Requested what the corporate would do if a Britain-EU settlement emerged on the final second in 2020, Letson paused.
“It wouldn’t trouble me,” she stated.
“We most likely would have gotten a much bigger warehouse in Scotland however as an alternative we’re right here… it’s cemented the ties that we hoped to construct with our prospects in Europe as a result of we are able to ship quicker right here.”