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Berlin's Brexit billboard courts UK start-ups

Germany's Free Democratic Party pays for billboard in the streets of the British capital

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 July, 2016, 7:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 July, 2016, 12:52pm

In an initial sign that European countries may try to tempt businesses in Britain to relocate because of Brexit, a billboard advising start-ups to move to Berlin has been spotted in London.

The German Free Democratic Party (FDP) paid for the billboard to drive around the streets of the U.K. capital this week in order to encourage start-up companies to move to Germany.

The possibility of companies and jobs relocating to stay within the European Union has become a concern following the U.K. referendum in June in which the country chose to leave the EU.

The move by the FDP also aims to promote the party ahead of a September election in Berlin for seats in the state parliament.

"In light of Brexit, the FDP is asking the Senate to at last reduce the hurdles for start-ups in Berlin," according to Sebastian Czaja, secretary general of the Berlin FDP. "Berlin must become the new home for those that want to build a business in Europe."

The consequences of Brexit are currently uncertain, but companies are concerned about how it might affect their business.

"We currently have three offices in major capital cities – Stockholm, London, and New York," Karl Rosander, co-founder & president of Swedish podcasting platform Acast said in May, prior to the referendum .

"If a Brexit occurred, we wouldn't necessarily feel the need to relocate, but there is a worry that it could have a negative effect on our ability to redeploy our staff across markets, be they British nationals, EU citizens, or from further afield."

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