The racing world’s young hotness of a series Formula E may leave Britain if Britain goes ahead with Brexit without a deal on taxes and employment, CEO Alejandro Agag told Reuters. As a global series employing many non-Brits and sponsored by many European companies, Agag says they may have to move to the European Union if Brexit makes it too expensive for them to stay.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union means that even the simplest of international policies have to be renegotiated to apply to just little ol’ Britain. The prolonged uncertainty over Britain’s future relationship with other countries has been a big cause for concern for many automotive entities, who do everything from build cars to base Formula One teams in the United Kingdom.
The all-electric Formula E championship employs around 100 employees out of its West London offices. Many of those employees, including Spanish CEO Agag, are not British and would therefore be subject to whatever it is that Brexit eventually does to Britain’s international policies. Agag told Reuters:
We have a lot of expats that work in the company...probably of our 100 employees, 50 are British and 50 are from other countries.
And a lot of our contracts come from the European Union in terms of sponsorship, so if there is not a deal in terms of tax and employment, we will leave.
We probably would leave overnight. We could make a decision in one day and then leave. We’re looking at different options. Maybe Holland, maybe Monaco. Some nearby place in the European Union.
While Agag wants to stay in London, potential taxes on soon-to-be-foreign EU sources of income are the biggest issue, as he continues:
If there are withholding taxes on sponsorship payments, that would make our business impossible. So then we would have to leave. And of course if the people cannot stay here working then that would make us leave also.
A sponsor from France, like Michelin for example, the fee they pay me will have a 30 percent withholding. So my revenue will go down by 30 percent.
And if I move to France or Holland, I will get the whole fee. It’s a no-brainer.
It’s not just the series itself that has cause to worry about taxes on sponsorship payments coming from the EU. Like Formula One, most Formula E teams are based in Britain.
Britain already lost its London ePrix round of the Formula E championship after NIMBY residents near London’s Battersea Park cried foul. However, there’s still hope that London could host another round of the series, regardless of what effect Brexit has on Formula E’s home office location. Agag told Reuters that the series has been in talks with other boroughs around London after the Royal Parks shut down the idea to run a route down the central Mall and near Buckingham Palace.