LONDON Oct 11 Japanese electronics giant
Fujitsu Ltd said on Tuesday it was cutting 1,800 jobs
in Britain as part of a "transformation programme" but that the
move was not linked to the country's vote to leave the European
Japanese companies had warned in the run-up to the June
referendum that a vote to leave could damage jobs and prospects
But Fujitsu said in a statement that the job cuts, which
amount to 18 percent of its UK workforce, were part of a
transformation programme across its Europe, Middle East, India
and Africa unit.
"These changes are in no way linked to the decision by the
UK to leave the EU," it said. "Fujitsu is committed to the UK
and is confident in the continued growth of the UK economy."
The job cuts, which the company said would make it more
competitive, would affect Fujitsu's major UK sites including
Belfast, Bracknell, Crewe, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and
The Unite union condemned the cuts.
"This is a hammer blow for these hardworking employees who
have given their all to make the UK subsidiary highly
profitable," said Unite's IT officer Ian Tonks.
The Japanese government published a 15-page report in
September warning of the impact Brexit could have on its
financial institutions and companies headquartered in Britain.
The report noted nearly half of Japan's investment into the
EU in 2015 flowed to Britain, and requested clarity as to how
negotiations with the EU would unfold.
"What Japanese businesses in Europe most wish to avoid is
the situation in which they are unable to discern clearly the
way the Brexit negotiations are going, only grasping the whole
picture at the last minute," the report said.
The CEO of Japanese automaker Nissan asked Britain
last month to promise compensation for any tax barriers
resulting from the decision to leave the EU before it invested
further in its plant in Sunderland, northeast England.
The British government announced last week it would trigger
the formal legal process of exiting the EU by the end of March
2017, giving some further clarity to businesses affected by the
But Prime Minister Theresa May has said she would not reveal
her hand ahead of time in negotiations with European
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison)