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Microsoft denies employee's claims it could quit UK over Brexit tariffs

By Ravender Sembhy

Microsoft has moved to quash fears that it will consider dumping Britain if costs rise because of the imposition of tariffs following Brexit.

In response to comments made by the firm's UK government affairs manager, Owen Larter, the US tech giant said that its "commitment to the UK is unchanged".

It added in a statement: "The comments reported by a Microsoft employee were not reflective of the company's view. As we have said both before and after the EU referendum vote, Microsoft's commitment to the UK is unchanged.

"In particular, those customers in our UK data centres should continue to rely on Microsoft's significant investment plans there."

Mr Larter said on Monday as part of a "What Brexit Means for Tech" webinar that Microsoft, which employs 5,000 people in across the UK, could build its data centres in other European countries.

"We're really keen to avoid import tariffs on any hardware. Going back to the data centre example, we're looking to build out our data centres at a pretty strong lick in the UK, because the market is doing very well," Mr Larter said.

"If all of a sudden there are huge import (tariffs) on server racks from China or from eastern Europe, where a lot of them are actually assembled, that might change our investment decisions and perhaps we build out our data centres across other European countries."

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