Facebook and new technology backs the UK

Yesterday’s opening of the new Facebook headquarters was a timely reminder of how the business community sees us. Facebook has chosen to invest in an important new architect designed building close to Oxford Circus and to expand its workforce substantially. It is recruiting engineers, as it likes the UK as a base for designing new technology services. It is setting up an incubator to help mentor and assist some of the UK technology start up businesses. Facebook appreciates the UK as a source of talented employees, a good base for business, and a place that offers world class accommodation and facilities.

Google too has grown quickly in London and is taking substantial space.It is working on a 1 million square foot headquarters at Kings Cross. Amazon meanwhile is attracting more and more business from UK shoppers and is taking on a range of properties around the country to allow it to deliver products in a timely and efficient way.

The new economy majors see the UK as a fast growing opportunity, with many people wanting to expand their use of digital media for everything from shopping to their social life, from news and entertainment to banking. These latest investments are important for future UK growth and development.

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38 Comments

  1. Beauty!
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Nor heard about this in The media though it was in social media.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Indeed this despite the daft left wing government we currently suffer and the serious threat of Corbyn and Venezuela in the wings.

  3. Mark B
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Indeed this good news. Especially as these are ALL U.S. corporates. Pitty there are no new Mercedes Benz or VW car plants. But the Europeans do not seem to want to invest in the UK, unless that is, they want to buy our service companies.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      QIAGEN will expand its Manchester presence – a move which could see the creation of 800 skilled jobs. ( They’re German)

      Siemens to invest £35M in Lincoln ( They’re German)

      French TV company behind BBC Two’s Versailles to invest €50m into UK drama

      Dutch giant Abellio to invest £1bn in UK train network

      And many many more

  4. jerry
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Oh dear, leaving past relations with the HMRC aside, it is not going to be good for the government if they are relying on the likes of Facebook and Google, who are basically personal-data collectors & aggregates, this is not the sort of ‘high-tech’ future most wish for or want.

    Yet the government did nothing to prevent the sale of ARM Holdings to a Japanese company, thus reducing yet further the UK’s market share and -perhaps- future influence…

    • libertarian
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Jerry

      Yeh Jerry because they dont employ anyone at all, they dont pay council tax, they dont pay VAT, they never ever buy anything from local companies

      If thats the best you can come up with I’d give up now fella

      Oh I ignored the obvious, that Google actually make physical products too.

      • jerry
        Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        @libertarian; But any company setting up (or remaining) in the UK would do all the things you mention too.

        If that’s the best you can come up with I’d give up now fella !…

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      What could they have done?

  5. Duncan
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Reading between the lines this could mean many things

    That big business sees the probability of a Marxist Labour government as improbable

    That big business believe the UK will not leave the EU in its entirety

    One a positive and one a negative

    All large corporate entities have both eyes on the behaviour and actions of government and political parties. Business appreciate that there’s no limit to the stupidity of politicians and their capacity to pursue policies that can cause damage in both a fiscal and a societal sense

    It’s when business climb into bed with the political state that causes me concern. A classic example is how the private activity of professional sport is now being targetted by Tory ministers for liberal left re-programming. Yes, this is a Tory government behaving like a bunch of cultural Marxists, Even OFCOM’s on the march pressuring advertising companies to produce liberal left adverts promoting a liberal left agenda

    So yes, the more private the better which pushes back against the dead hand of the State but a big no to the private bending to the will of useless politicians who mess it all up with their brain dead schemes

  6. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Prevalence of English will be an important factor. A prosperous UK will be good for Dutch exports, whatever the kind of Brexit coming.

  7. Sceptic
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Or do they see us as a place to continue sweetheart tax deals?

  8. Andy
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Facebook and Google have invested in heavily Remain voting, immigration friendly, London.

    And they have done it now because the pound collapsed after the Brexit vote so it is cheap for them.

    They have taken a punt, correctly in my view, that Brexit will either never happen or will be swiftly overturned if it does.

    • M.W.Browne
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      The perrenially weak pound doesn’t need much of an excuse to fall. Before 2008 £1 would buy over 2.3 Swiss francs, but now only buys 1.3 Swiss francs. Caused not by BREXIT, but by a badly run economy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        By a deliberate policy of devaluing the people’s savings – by inflation less the pittance of interest the banks pay you.

        • M.W.Browne
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Well, I don’t think it’s the low interest rates here that cause a weak pound. The rates in Switzerland are also non-existant, but their currency is strong.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          So best to borrow in devaluing sterling and invest in real assets that should increase in real value. Except that then you usually get mugged for loads of tax on gains (that are often not even real gain) unless you spend lots of time and money with tax planners. But even that (depressingly unproductive activity) is getting harder and harder.

          So best to leave really if you have much money or talent. That anyway is the message from May, Hammond and Osborne before him.

        • APL
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic: “By a deliberate policy of devaluing the people’s savings ”

          Just in the last ten years, £100 deposited in your current account would have depreciated by 3% per year – to meet the government’s published P.I.T ( Population Impoverishment Target ) and now be worth £75.

          MPs by contrast have helped themselves to an extra £10,000 this year.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          Start your own business

    • libertarian
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      So what is your excuse for Siemens laying off staff in Germany whilst employing 700 more in the UK

      Or QIAGEN expands its Manchester presence – a move which sees the creation of 800 skilled jobs.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Their business is rather immune from border issues and the English language is important so there is no reason to not invest in the UK. Of course they expect that UK workers will become cheaper and that importing people from Asia will become much easier, as was the plan within the Conservative Party.

  9. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Google and Facebook (words left out ed) can operate from anywhere.

    London attracts talent better than most other cities and so will remain attractive whatever the outcome of leaving the EU.

    Those determined to remain as part of the EU should at least recognise the assets that back our negotiating position.

  10. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Indeed it is good to hear that the big US tech companies are investing in the UK. Let’s make sure that they pay a fair amount of tax on their British profits.

  11. Gary C
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Maybe the BBC could use this headline:

    ‘Businesses looking forward to a positive and prosperous future in the UK.’

    • acorn
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Or, more likely “foreign owned businesses looking forward to above global average net profit margins in the UK”. A decade back I was advised by an accountant for a French car manufacturer, that the UK yielded near twice the gross margin on a vehicle sale, than the company’s global average. It pays the UK elite, not to educate its plebeian class, above its natural station.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    We are a big market in our own rights and it is no surprise that we can continue to attract investment and development . The world knows that our influence goes well beyond our borders and it is in the interests of international organisations to link with us . Keep reminding Hammond of this .

  13. David Williams
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The prospect of less interference from the European Commission is also appealing.

  14. Stan Matthews
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    London gets the swanky new “architect designed” offices and the best jobs. The rest of us get the cavernous warehouses, minimum wage, ten a penny, zero hour contract jobs.

    Modern day Britain in a nutshell.

    • M.W.Browne
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Yes it’s Londona again. Situation normal.

    • APL
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Stan Matthews: “The rest of us get the cavernous warehouses, minimum wage, ten a penny, zero hour contract jobs.”

      You should get a job as an MP. It’s the only contractual job where you know the term of the employment up front, yet, when that term has expired, you get a golden parachute at the tax payers expense.

      Most other contractors, are expected to make provision for short periods of unemployment, but not MPs. Odd that.

  15. Alan
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    About the only possible road to success for the UK once it has left the EU that I can see is that we make good used of our skills in robotics and artificial intelligence to build a high wage, high productivity economy. Otherwise we are in danger of becoming a low wage low productivity economy permanently. These investments by technology firms are very much to be welcomed.

    A a Remainer I must add that we could do far better if we stayed in the EU and made use of the economies of scale that would produce, but that doesn’t detract from the value of developing these companies.

  16. Epikouros
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Brexit is not a factor when it comes to where a business chooses to be located. As the level of foreign investment appears to be growing since the referendum the very opposite to that which remainers predicted which you frequently point out as you have again done today. Why should it although access to tariff free borders is a plus it is by far not the most important. Not having access to tariff free borders is the norm or at least not unusual for most exporting companies. The UK obviously has other attractions far more important. It will be our legal, taxation, skills, infrastructure frameworks to name just a few that will the deciding factor not Brexit. Making the UK more attractive to investors and entrepreneurs was pointed out very early on in the debate which of course was decried by the EU and remainers hypocritically as outrageously unsporting(not that they used such a polite description) .

  17. Nick
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Stuff the tax they pay. It’s always the desperate headline. These people create jobs, jobs that create *other* jobs. If you set about taxing them, that’s money not going into the economy but going to the state.

    The BBC started out with that premise. They weren’t interested in the 100 jobs created or the work being done, they just bleated about Facebook following the law to minimise their taxes – just as BBC executives and presenters quite rightly do. Taxes are too high across the board.

    We should, as Mr Redwood says; be very proud of Facebook expanding here.

  18. Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes it it is good news.

    But yet again as always it is destroyed by the current myths and lies that we still use the gold standard and that taxes fund government spending.

    It will always be the case until someone tells the truth. When are people going to step up to the plate whenever a TV camera is in their face and say the truth. Even if it is just to clear their own conscious. Then news like this can be celebrated instead of destroyed by tax evasion.

    Taxes are destroyed every night of the week in the overnight interbank market when the BOE buys and sells bonds to meet its overnight interest rate. They fund nothing.

    They destroy high powered money to help control inflation. Digging for gold is not in the whole process anymore.

    Since we’ve lef tthe gold standard taxes do not fund government spending.

    Lying to the public about taxes funding government spending to win votes has to stop and has to stop now. Brainwashing the public to make them believe the government finances operates like a household budget is not only wrong. It causes so much damage in the long run.

    The accounting between HM Treasury and the BOE is neither political or ideological it is fact. The truth.

  19. Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    You are all clever people try it yourselves over XMAS.

    Get a wad of monopoly money and 100 lego characters and set the tax rate and run the spending chain yourselves.

    The only condition is every lego character has spend all of their income.

    You are the monopoly issuer of the £ and give £1000 to the first lego character ( take the tax off) then the 1st lego character passes it to the 2nd lego character ( take the tax off) then the 2nd lego character passes it to the 3rd lego character ( take the tax off) and so on and so on all the way down the spending chain. As each lego characters spending is someone elses income.

    What you’ll quickly figure out is government spending pays for itself each and every time and the trillions of little tax payements returns it to the banking reserves to be destroyed. The taxes to fund it they destroy it to control inflation.

    Say lego characters numbers 3, 10, 26, 41, and 60 all decided to save £5 instead of passing it all onto the next lego character. Then your budget deficit as the government would be £25.

    You would have spent £1000 but only collected £975. The government budget deficit equals all of the lego characters savings to the penny.

    Each lego character only has 3 options

    a) pay tax

    b) spend it

    c) save it

    As soon as they start spending their savings they will also be returned to the reserves to be destroyed in the overnight interbank market. So the BOE can hit its overnight rate.

    If people knew this they would be cheering this facebook news.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      The socialist magic money tree fable is revealed.

  20. Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    As soon as you understand the monopoly issuer of £’s can not run out of £’s and that the budget deficit = the private sector savings and the national debt is just those savings put into treasuries to earn interest.

    Then you fully understand what is really important and that is what do you want the lego characters in your country doing.

    Do you want 100 lego characters working for Facebook or does our country need them to be doing soemthing else. Like farming or joining the army.

    As a country we can never run out of £’s but we can run out of lego characters and the skills that they have.

  21. Freedom
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    You created bogey men to destroy the freedom of speech of ordinary law-abiding citizens.

    That is what you politicians have done John.

  22. margaret howard
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    They come here because of tax concessions and cheap labour. After Brexit EU worker protection laws will disappear. Back to the bad old days.

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