back to article Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

Nothing splits The Reg readers, or the UK, quite like a discussion on where to put the jam in its scone, so we decided to ask you what, indeed, you would do if you were a tech billionaire on the eve of a potentially, er, disorderly Brexit. Just yesterday, for example, it emerged that Brexit backer billionaire and founder of …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Qarumba

    Britain Needs Us Billionaires

    I'm a billionaire and I don't care if I only make half a billion during the Brexit catastrophe, I'm still British. The only thing that would make me move is if ever Corbyn and his uneducated, anti-semite racists ever get into power!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

      "I'm a billionaire"

      Hahahahaha!

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

        I was a billionaire, then the TRL got devalued, and I had to exchange it back for 150 GBP :(

      2. big_D Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

        He might not be a billionaire now, but just wait a week or two after Brexit, then, with rampant inflation, everybody will be billionaires.

        Mine's the one with deep pockets.

        1. overunder

          Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

          What's Brexit?

          1. VikiAi Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: What's Brexit?

            A new brand of high fiber wheat-based breakfast biscuits. Keeps you regular.

            1. mosw

              Re: What's Brexit?

              "A new brand of high fiber wheat-based breakfast biscuits. Keeps you regular."

              Well that's what it says on the box, but my experience is that it seems to bung up the entry and exits leaving you with a decidedly constipated feeling. But it is officially recommended by the government food guide.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

      Me too. Trouble is that in Zimbabwe you need lots of billion dollar notes to buy a coffee now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Zimbabwe

        I've only got a few trillion dollar notes (IIRC, I forget how many zeros are on them!).

    3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

      @Quarumba.

      As opposed to the privately educated racists currently in power?

      A plague on both their houses tbh.

      Although I would note that most billionaires or even the simple millionaire brexiteers are usually entitled white men.

    4. Augie

      Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

      Hidden tory supporter by per chance?

    5. sabroni Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

      Obvious.

    6. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: Britain Needs Us Billionaires

      >I'm a billionaire

      Rank hypocrisy isn't the only thing in vogue at present. Bare-faced lying is popular too, it seems.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firstly (to get rich) I'd use a proven get rich quick scheme that has worked for thousands of years where fools will throw money at you by starting a religion then I'd buy my own island in the Carribean while not giving a fuck about what a shit train or (formerly) telecom service I own, then just keep raking the dosh and enjoy the sun while preaching at people as if they are idiots.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      to get rich

      Write a book about how to get rich.

      My problem is, that for now I still struggle to stretch this simple sentence over 200 pages to actually fill a book. Will tell you when I found out - you'll be able to read it in my (not so) soon to be published book.

  4. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Money well spent

    If I were a billionaire the country wouldn't be in this situation at all. I would have had UKIP thoroughly infiltrated and all the worst of their fruitcakes, racists and loons long since exposed, tainting their fellow travellers beyond redemption. The clandestine campaign I would have waged against Farage, Banks, Johnson et al would have seen them permanently associated in the public mind with offences far worse than the poisonous bile the anti-EU tabloids dribbled in the public ear for twenty years. And I wouldn't have had to tell a single lie to do any of it.

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Money well spent

      I would have had UKIP thoroughly infiltrated and all the worst of their fruitcakes, racists and loons long since exposed, tainting their fellow travellers beyond redemption

      History shows that far right movements generally enjoy the support of the wealthiest ones.

      How Big Business Bailed Out the Nazis

      Agnelli and Mussolini

      La Cagoule [...] was a French fascist-leaning and anti-communist terrorist group [...] Among others, the founder of the cosmetics company L'Oréal, Eugène Schueller, bankrolled the clandestine movement.

      Doing Big Business With Fascists

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Money well spent

        History shows that far right movements generally enjoy the support of the wealthiest ones.

        Indeed. Greed frequently overrides any democratic principles a person might once have held, with rationalisations which would awe even the most fundamentalist of religious apologetics.

        While not believing in any personification of evil, I can broadly agree with the biblical notion that money is the root of all evil. Money buys power and power corrupts.

        1. PerlyKing
          Headmaster

          Re: The root of all evil

          I'm not disagreeing with the sentiment, but the correct quote is that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil.

          1. mosw

            Re: "What's love got to do with it"

            "it is the love of money that is the root of all evil"

            I think it is more like friends with benefits.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Money well spent

        History shows that far right movements generally enjoy the support of the wealthiest ones.

        Hardly surprising since the far-left ones generally have "confiscate all private property" (except that of the party leader) at #1 on their manifesto.

        1. Mephistro Silver badge

          Re: Money well spent

          "confiscate all private property"

          You forgot the confiscation rampage the Nazis performed in Europe. They confiscated art, precious metals, homes, land, food and lives. The difference between Nazism and Stalinism was mainly cosmetic.

          1. Nick Kew Silver badge

            Re: Money well spent

            Nonsense. Though both were socialist, one was National, the other International.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: Money well spent

              But since both wanted to turn the whole world into one country (theirs, 'natch), I think this counts as a cosmetic difference.

            2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Money well spent

              That's a lot of downvotes for something that was obviously a joke. Some Reg readers a little weak on their history, perhaps? (Damn kids, &c.)

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Re: Money well spent

                Obviously a joke? I can't agree with that. I've seen too many people claim that the Nazis were socialists, without them ever bothering to look up the reason why the word stayed in the name (though they shut up fast when you tell them they must also believe that all those Soviet-era nations who had 'Democratic People's Republic' in their name must have been well-functioning democracies).

  5. madmalc

    Harrumph

    The EU is going to ban sausages, don't you know! As it happens the EU has not banned sausages - they're leaving it to the Vegans! (Send 'em back, that's what I say - 25.05 light years a bit far in a rubber dinghy)

    1. Snowy
      Mushroom

      Re: Harrumph

      Nope having any red meat in sausages will get banned due to climate change. The only sausages allowed will be meat free.

    2. Woza

      Re: Harrumph

      They cannot, and will not, destroy the British sausage!

      -- Jim Hacker

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: Harrumph

        You mean the "Emulsified High Fat Offal Tube"

        Maurice in Brussels

        (as I recall Jim Hacker went a bit green when he read the ingrediants list and then recalled to Bernard that he had had 2 for breakfast that morning)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opertunity

    I became a billionaire by sowing doubt, confusion and fear and then selling survival packs. I spent thirty years treating my customers like idiots and pandering to the lowest common denominator by telling them that nothing was their fault and that all blame belonged on the other side of the channel. When the truth got in the way, I ignored it or lied or both, and I did it louder and longer until the truth went away. The only thing that could get in the way of me getting richer was people seeing common sense, I financed the nutters and fringes of the main parties to ensure their infighting stopped them from ever seeing sense. You didn't think that Cameron called a referendum for the benefit of the British people, did you? He was fighting off UKIP (which I funded) and his own right wingers (which I also funded). I was not alone. I was just one of a number of billionaires getting richer the same way. The last time somebody made so much money out of British politicians stupidity was when my friend George Soros got John Major to hand him a billion pounds by selling Sterling short. This time, the British people are going to give us so, so much more. By the time this is done, we will own Britain and the British people will be thanking us for it.

    1. Ochib

      Re: Opertunity

      Will you also change the nation anthem to:

      When dragons belch and hippos flee

      My thoughts, England, are of thee

      Let others boast of martial dash

      For we have boldly fought with cash

      We own all your helmets, we own all your shoes

      We own all your generals - touch us and you'll lose.

      England! England!

      England owns the day!

      We can rule you wholesale

      Touch us and you'll pay.

      We bankrupt all invaders, we sell them souvenirs

      We ner ner ner ner ner, hner ner hner by the ears

      Er hner we ner ner ner ner ner

      Ner ner her ner ner ner hner the ner

      Er ner ner hner ner, nher hner ner ner (etc.)

      Ner hner ner, your gleaming swords

      We mortgaged to the hilt

      England! England!

      Hner ner ner ner ner ner

      We can rule you wholesale

      Credit where it's due."

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Opertunity

      Your post is possibly closer to reality than I like the think.

      The longer and more laughable Brexit (lack of) preparations and the deal is the more I think we should think about who stands to profit

      A fractured UK and Europe are good for anyone who considers their ' National Security' to be threatened by a strong functioning Europe, cue devolution, yellow vest and other unrest around Europe along with Brexit which is damaging for both the UK and Europe whichever way it goes.

      What can I say? I like conspiracy theories!

    3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Opertunity

      There's even a pithy phrase for it. Disaster Capitalism.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Opertunity

        "There's even a pithy phrase for it. Disaster Capitalism."

        could you point me to a book on that, please remember I need to know the author and where his kids might be now...

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Opertunity

          where his kids might be

          Not 'his kids' but 'her son'. And don't even joke about it. She already gets death threats.

        2. Snapper

          Re: Opertunity

          Lord, I don't know! Something something Mogg wasn't it?, Wrote five books on how to make big money in a crisis. I think he used them as suitable bed-time literature for the nanny to read to to the most Machiavellian of his spogs, who has grown up a fine figure of a man, with plums in all the right places.

        3. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Opertunity

          Well the book is easy to find, however, this article (first item in google search results) was interesting and relevant to the discussion here:

          Disaster capitalism: the shocking doctrine Tories can’t wait to unleash

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Opertunity

            this article

            Funny, I just knew it would be the Grauniad before I even looked at the URL.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Opertunity

      "The last time somebody made so much money out of British politicians stupidity was when my friend George Soros got John Major to hand him a billion pounds by selling Sterling short."

      You didn't buy gold from Gordon Brown at the bottom of the market? Some people just can't see opportunities when they're in front of them.

    5. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Opertunity

      I became a billionaire by sowing doubt, confusion and fear and then selling survival packs. I spent thirty years treating my customers like idiots and pandering to the lowest common denominator by telling them that nothing was their fault and that all blame belonged on the other side of the channel.

      You are either James Dyson or the CEO of Vodafone and I claim my defective air blade or £5 top up voucher respectively.

  7. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Stop

    Where is the poll option for

    Start an internet argument on the correct way to make a cup of tea?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Where is the poll option for

      Good idea

      Loose leaf tea only - I'm no savage

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Where is the poll option for

        Good idea, I would love a cuppa. Make sure there are some decent dunkable biscuits.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Where is the poll option for

        The tea leaves in my tea bags are loose, otherwise they would be called tea cubes/tablets/capsules..........

        On the dunkable biscuit front, I live in Spain and in the face of Brexit one of the nearby supermarkets is stocking more British goods including some excellent but cheap gingernuts.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Where is the poll option for

          I think the idea is you're supposed to be stockpiling now for when the Hobnobs and Marmite run out in April.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: Where is the poll option for

            I tried that once and I ended up eating 3 lots of chocolate hobnobs in a day.

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Where is the poll option for

            when the Hobnobs and Marmite run out in April.

            Brexit will kill off Marmite? And you still wonder why people voted leave?!

        2. Ochib

          Re: Where is the poll option for

          And if your biscuits are to big for your cup, there is a solution

          https://youtu.be/xIxgPEVjxiA

  8. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

    Dyson

    > Just yesterday, for example, it emerged that Brexit backer billionaire and founder of eponymous tech firm Sir James Dyson had decided to move the HQ from the UK to Singapore

    In the article's context & tone, that's a completely upside-down (mis)representation.

    Dyson the company has been moving its production to Singapore for yonks and now makes nearly ALL its stuff there. So shifting the HQ is simple commonsense/rational management, despite the cost and friction.

    Dyson the person is keeping his entire financial stake in Britain -- no change. Yet that would have been a near costless and near instantaneous move to make, should he have wanted to avoid personal consequences from Brexit.

    Dyson's choices here are actually a vote of confidence in Brexit.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Dyson

      I call BS. No self respecting billionaire will have any of his non-tangible assets exposed to any single geographic risk, his finance manager would not let him.

      He might have a few houses & shares over here but I'm willing to bet the vast majority of his actual wealth is spread globally.

      Happy to be proved wrong by a link.

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        Re: Dyson

        Here's a quick easy one from what the responders here might consider a surprising source:

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/22/dyson-to-move-company-hq-to-singapore

        Rowan said Dyson would “continue to pay tax in the UK”. Weybourne Group, through which Sir James holds his business interests including Dyson plc, paid £185m of tax in 2017, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

        That amount of tax, btw, implies about £1bn Earnings continuing to be run thru UK. Normal tax structuring (Apple, Facebook, Google, etc) which can be done in a few days, would be to have Dyson himself Resident offshore in a lowtax regime (eg Monaco)(actually this doesn't work for US passport holders: global tax regardless of residency), all his holdings offshore, the holding company parked in Dublin for the double-irish or in Liechtenstein (or Malta, or BVI, or Bermuda, or etc.etc.), and all the local activity parked in matched-local subsidiaries. Pretty basic stuff, guys. Splitting legal-residency and actual-residency of the HQ can have nasty repercussions depending on jurisdiction, so if it's already run out of Singapore IRL, pushing the paper residency over at that point is near-mandatory.

        And what makes you think he's restricting his global exposure to UK? He's clearly not and never has: he started exporting as soon as he could. Same as every company with ambition. Dyson-the-company, his asset, has been global for yonks.

        Yes, his source-of-wealth has been and is global. Same as any exporter. But he's still running HIS share of it, into the UK. If he was worried about Brexit, he'd have taken some action related to Brexit.

        Having said that, whatever the hell the UK comes out with at this point, it's not any sane version of any of the originally-agreed models for Brexit. I haven't seen such a collossal cockup by politicians in years.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Dyson

          >"Normal tax structuring ... would be to have Dyson himself Resident offshore in a lowtax regime"

          Trouble is that then Dyson (himself) would have to become a non-dom, which might be problematic, particularly as the family and relations are UK resident...

          I think there will be tax efficiencies accruing by having the HQ outside of the UK and EU, as this will probably permit more 'pass the money' games to be played ie. opportunities for monies to move between holding companies and countries.

          Also, remember Dyson is 71, so I would expect he will be looking towards both his retirement and letting the business go - potential IPO on the Singapore exchange?

          >If he was worried about Brexit, he'd have taken some action related to Brexit.

          It's all to do with Brexit...

          Wealthy Brexiteers like James Dyson are jumping ship. Why might that be?

        2. Martin
          Headmaster

          Re: Dyson

          I haven't seen such a colossal cockup by politicians in years in my whole life.

          FTFY. Also fixed a spelling error :)

    2. Reaps

      Re: Dyson

      weirdest part is bbc and co have been repeating dysons claim that tax for UK won't change and they didn't do it for tax reasons as singapore only charges 2% less on companies.

      And the UK will get tax from the share dividends that apparently are all owned by upstanding UK people who will pay tax on the dividends.

      Strangely the smell of Bullshit is incredibly strong...I think I might puke!

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Dyson

      "Dyson the company has been moving its production to Singapore for yonks and now makes nearly ALL its stuff there."

      Quite so. You should take account of that when you work out just how much skin in the game Dyson the man in charge of the company has when it comes to UK manufacturing industry.

    4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Dyson

      Dyson the company has been moving its production to Singapore for yonks and now makes nearly ALL its stuff there

      He's also said to be working on electric cars, and China is the next big place for that, by all accounts. Makes sense to have an HQ in Asia, and Singapore's probably one of the better places to be in that part of the world.

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Dyson

      >So shifting the HQ is simple commonsense/rational management, despite the cost and friction.

      ?

      Whilst it may make sense to have a regional HQ in Singapore, it doesn't really make sense moving the legal HQ to the country of production; if it did, I'm sure Apple and others would have done it already.

      I think we are not being told the full story.

      >Dyson's choices here are actually a vote of confidence in Brexit.

      Given Dyson's reported £9.5bn personal fortune and age, Brexit won't make much of an impact on him.

      However, Rowan's comments are particularly telling:

      When asked whether Dyson could still be referred to as one of Britain’s best success stories, he said the firm should now be referred to as a “global technology company”.

      I suggest the change of emphasis is to enable Dyson (the company) to distance itself from Brexit and the UK; doesn't inspire confidence...

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        Re: Dyson

        > Whilst it may make sense to have a regional HQ in Singapore, it doesn't really make sense moving the legal HQ to the country of production; if it did, I'm sure Apple and others would have done it already.

        Well, Apple HAS. How do you think they kept so many $$billions offshore sheltered from US tax for so long? Magic?

        Disney, VW, Caterpillar, Fiat, just off a quick google just on Luxembourg. eBay is Swiss. PayPal is Singapore. Facebook used to be Irish but ISTR it's now either Liechtenstein or Luxembourg.

        > "doesn't really make sense"

        Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Shutting down a company (here, the UK one) can potentially have all sorts of nasty implications: tax, regulatory, structuring, simple ball-achery, etc., so yes there are potential frictions&costs.

        But yes, companies DO do it, WHEN it makes sense. Common term is "re-domiciling", such as Starbucks shifting HQ from Netherlands to UK, or for a funky version kinda like 2 amoebae merging then both nuclei oozing into one end: "Tax Inversion", such as Burger King shifting from USA to Canada via its merger with Horton's. Pfizers pfuckup trying to shift out of the US and getting nobbled mid-stream by the Treasury's another one.

        Here's an example of a lot of US companies which had redomiciled offshore, returning to the US:

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-inversions-idUSKBN1KO2HH

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Dyson

          Dyson has got to do what's best for his business. That's his job.

          People generally don't build businesses for jingoistic reasons, nor do businesses exist to provide jobs.

          So if the UK doesn't provide the best environment to grow businesses then move the business to somewhere that does.

          And at the moment, UK seems to be determined to be as hostile as possible to enterprise.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Dyson

            "So if the UK doesn't provide the best environment to grow businesses then move the business to somewhere that does.

            And at the moment, UK seems to be determined to be as hostile as possible to enterprise."

            The issue with Dyson is moving the manufacturing part of his business out of the UK; then advocating a change which, as you way, makes the UK as hostile as possible to enterprise, shafting those overseas investors who set up enterprises in the UK because it was part of the EU*. Only now do we see the pretence of being a Great British Business being dropped.

            * Along with those of his customers employed in the UK by those enterprises.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Dyson

          @W.S.Gosset - You missed the point being made.

          Yes I agree there are good sound reasons why companies may wish to consider moving their corporate HQ/holding company and the article you link to about US companies redomiciling, just serves to confirm that this move by Dyson is all about Brexit.

          However, my point was that the reason being put forward by the Dyson board and reported by the media is not that Dyson are to establish a regional HQ in Singapore but to redomicile the corporate HQ to Singapore purely on the grounds that this is the main place of production. given the business mantra for several decades now has been the offshoring of production/manufacturing, which implies the HQ and place of production are in different countries, I think this needs further elaboration - in the expectation that Dyson or a Dyson board member will cough 'Brexit'. :)

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Dyson

            If the business is a foreign one with non-consumer interests in the UK are quite candid about blaming the UK's brexit position for pulling stuff out.

            However, businesses whose market is made up mostly of individual consumers go to lengths to try to deny that brexit has anything to do with them sidling away from the UK, because they don't want to alienate almost 50% of their market (52% is NOT valid any more).

            But's becoming clear now that the drip drip is becoming a trickle and will soon be a deluge. Of course, it's all just coincidental.

    6. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge
      Holmes

      Let's have another go

      Bit bemused by the numbers of thumbsdown followed by responses which suggest people haven't had much corporate exposure and are kinda guessing based on newspaper alarums, and on the basis of Dyson= uberbaddy screwing everyone over haharrrr.

      So let me try putting it another way. Let's ASSUME that basis: that Dyson is an uberbaddy of utter selfishness and f*ckyouness.

      POSIT:

      * Dyson's a c*nt

      * Dyson's selfish and only cares about what's good for him: UK can go get f*cked

      * Dyson's smart

      THEN:

      * post-referendum-barracking, he suddenly does a 180, thinks Brexit's a BAD thing (for him) (the c*nt)

      .

      WHAT WOULD HE DO? :

      Well, immediately post-Brexit-vote, he'd immediately move everything offshore. He'd be able to do it in a nice relaxed fashion, with no risk of being squeezed on timing or costs. Total bonus.

      --> He didn't do that.

      .

      So... maybe he read any newspaper or saw any TV or internet, and thought: "wait, there's a very real chance the politicians/poliwonks will overturn the people, and Brexit won't happen. OR that a deal might be struck that's better than the WTO-Standard/'No Deal', which might mean I can stay in Britain and still keep all the economic advantages." The latter is what was very much on the table at the outset before May-time; the former is what became apparent over time was being attempted.

      --> Well, in that case, he'd wait till AFTER the final result was known.

      --> Because to move before then would guarantee incurring big costs&hassle, when there's a material probability of it being completely pointless, or wasted, or even negative. "Well, I'd be a bloody idiot to jump before it's certain."

      To be clear:

      Since he didn't move immediately post-vote :

      To move before the final outcome is decided is economically irrational when some of the possible outcomes provide EU-alike access to EEC.

      To move just a handful of months before that decision is made would be outright irrational. Actually, very stupid.

      Any sane person at this point, with this potential decision on the table and in his low-{regulatory/sovereign}-faff industry (unlike finance), would sit on his bum and wait for the imminent deadline. And THEN decide what to do.

      Dyson is not stupid.

      If this decision was Brexit-related, he wouldn't be moving now -- he'd wait a couple of months.

      To put it another way:

      If this WAS Dyson being a two-faced c*nt, GAMING Brexit:

      he wouldn't be doing this now, he'd wait just a couple of months.

      He hasn't. Therefore it's either:

      * he's a STUPID c*nt, or

      * something else is going on.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Let's have another go

        "Well, immediately post-Brexit-vote, he'd immediately move everything offshore."

        He'd moved manufacturing off-shore pre-Brexit-vote so the stuff he flogs here is already imported from outside the EU. At least to a first approximation Brexit doesn't affect his UK business at all so it's no skin off his nose if all the businesses still manufacturing in the UK for EU customers start facing tariff walls. Of course when their former employees stop buying his products it might make a difference.

    7. JJKing Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Dyson

      Dyson is the only guy I know who makes a product that really doesn't suck.

      It perplexes me that the ones who voted for Brexit are those that are either rapidly approaching pension age or are on it. The one who voted to stay seemed predominately the younger generations and with such a small turnout and a really small percentage to leave, this is a massive change that is going to affect so many people by such a small percentage getting it over the line. How many signed the petition within a week or two after the result and what was the most popular Google search after the result? Do nobody think the overly negative campaign to leave gave people an informed choice. I also find it interesting the oxygen thief Farage sat in the EU parliament collecting a salary while pushing his own agenda and not those of his nation. Isn't that treason?

      Bit like the US where the fruitcake in charge got elected with 3 million fewer votes than the popular (and I use that word loosely here) candidate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dyson

        It perplexes me that the ones who voted for Brexit are those that are either rapidly approaching pension age or are on it. The one who voted to stay seemed predominately the younger generations

        This is often repeated, yet I've seen no proof. That said, would it eally be surprising? Young people with little experience of the world are often naïve and idealistic, assuming that everyone wants to be nice. It's the older folks with the experience of the real world who have a more pragmatic outlook, and a better understanding of the realities behind world politics like the EU.

        Do remember that older people may be dying off, yet the eurosceptic vote has steadily climbed over the decades, so something is making those idealistic youngsters change their mind, and it's not just middle age.

        Do nobody think the overly negative campaign to leave gave people an informed choice.

        What, compared to the remain-funded Facebook "fake news" that was recently exposed, where anti-Brexit campaigners spent 4x as much as Leave supporters, trying to convince people that Brexit would endanger various cuddly animals?

        Farage sat in the EU parliament collecting a salary while pushing his own agenda and not those of his nation. Isn't that treason?

        He was elected to it, as the leader of the largest UK MEP group, and his agenda did get 52% of the votes in the referendum, so you can't really claim he wasn't pushing an agenda accepted by around half the nation. Nobody was forced to vote for him (I didn't, in case you're wondering).

        Bit like the US where the fruitcake in charge got elected with 3 million fewer votes than the popular (and I use that word loosely here) candidate.

        Nope, not a bit like that.

  9. jmch Silver badge
    Angel

    If I were a tech billionaire...

    ...I'd arrange my affairs to guarantee a safe and steady return, and retire to the Caribbean / South of France / other little sunny hideaway. To be fair, I probably would never become a billionaire as I will implement the above scheme as soon as I become a mere multimillionaire.

    That answer won't change whether I were British or not, and whatever happens with Brexit. I mean, seriously, if you had enough money to live comfortably anywhere in the world you wanted without ever having to work again, why on earth would you choose Britain?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

      why on earth would you choose Britain?

      Without getting too misty-eyed, because I love the bloody place.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

        Also because I know which plants & animals I can eat and which ones could kill me.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

          "which ones could kill me"

          You could always move to Australia and take "all of them" as a safe first approximation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

      Why choose Britain? Well until we had baby face Mogg threatening a coup, because it's generally fairly politically safe and secure, so my money and me can sleep soundly at night without me having to splash dosh on personal security. It has nice weather, good health care and education, no earthquakes, volcanoes or hurricanes. Loads of culture at all sorts of levels and great international connections.

      In your Caribbean hideaway you'll be squatting down behind tall walls and gates, waiting for the wind to blow the pool loungers into the sea. You'll be living in a community of about 20 other perma-tanned 'Oim considerably richer than thous' bored out of your mind. Your partner will be discussing the finer points of their backhand with their tennis pro and come the revolution you'll be first against the wall.

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

        ". It has nice weather,"

        Ahem... Citation needed?

        "In your Caribbean hideaway..."

        You're most likely right, EU part of the Mediterranean it is, then!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

        Britain? Nice weather?

        That's the first time I've seen such a claim by anyone...

        Edit: damn ninjas... :)

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

          I like the British weather too. I prefer a bit of gloom; it builds character and annoys people I don't like.

          Though since it's currently -20 C here, most other places are looking pretty good at the moment.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

        "thous"

        Plural of "thou" is "you".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

          >Plural of "thou" is "you".

          Don't thou them as thous thee!

          ...and the plural of thou is actually still thou

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

            OK - 'richer than yows' would have been a better spelling. And if you didn't get the Harry Enfield reference its easy to find on Youtbue, or most nights on Dave

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: If I were a tech billionaire...

      retire to the ... South of France

      You might want to keep a mooring for the yacht there, but it's not a retirement spot for the taxpaying rich if they want to stay rich. Monaco, maybe, if you don't mind the vertical houses.

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "where to put the jam in its scone"

    Simple. Between the butter and the cream. Who are these people who don't put butter on a scone?

    Now let's get to the trick bit. How do you pronounce it?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Like "gone" which is where businesses are going the UK.

  11. Irongut

    No need for billions, if I had any money I'd have moved to Italy or Germany in the last year.

    The UK is fucked and I don't want to associate with racist England any more.

    1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

      No need for billions, if I had any money I'd have moved to Italy or Germany in the last year.

      The UK is fucked and I don't want to associate with racist England any more.

      ===

      so promptly adds countries that are radically heading to the FAR right at a speed of knots ffs.

      UK for me, I love the place, it will still be here, and will never really alter until we head to WWIII :o(

      so, UK for a couple of years, then off looking for a spot that's not THAT hot, and sort of likes the older and wealthy Brit :o)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "then off looking for a spot that's not THAT hot, and sort of likes the older and wealthy Brit"

        New Zealand then?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "No Irish need apply"

          New Zealand then?

          Lovely country, but if you think England is racist you really don't want to move to NZ. Feels like 50s England, "those darker types, immigrants, nice enough but not like us. I wouldn't want my daughter marrying one" etc. Result of the "£10 poms", I suppose.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: "No Irish need apply"

            if you think England is racist you really don't want to move to NZ.

            Not sure where you get your ideas but they don't seem to be on this side of reality.

            I am of Australian Aboriginal descent (though I am rather pale skinned, some people can still see it if we're in the right light). I've grew up an a small conservative rural town where Maori and Pakeha were not noticed; while there were inequalities they were not race or gender based.

            We have the odd lout here and there who does make race an issue, but they're few and far between.

            You should try living here for a while, see what it's really like. And if you are someone in NZ and think it's racist, get out of your mom's house for a bit and actually see how other people live.

            My current community? A few Maori, some Germans, some eastern Eurpoean's (not sure where from), some elderly overweight nudists (why is it always the old fat people???) who are pasty-white despite their sun-hunting proclivities, people from various Asian countries and a decent smattering of Somalian families. Down the road we have a Samoan lady married to a Malaysian gentleman, and their respective families are the only "racists" I know (hers don't like Asians, his don't like non-Malaysians, so the couple moved to NZ and raised a family).

            If you hate racism come to NZ.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "No Irish need apply"

              Not sure where you get your ideas but they don't seem to be on this side of reality.

              An admittedly short (few weeks) visit a few years ago. Younger people seemed very relaxed and open-minded, but I was shocked by the casual racism of middle-aged & older people that I chatted with on public transport, in restaurants, etc., especially in the South Island. Very much the kind of attitudes from the UK of the 50s and 60s. "I'm not a racist, but really, these people would be better staying in their own countries." sort if thing. Very uncomfortable.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: "No Irish need apply"

                Around Christchurch? Yes, we do have an odd lot down there.

                We do have immigration issues in the sense that over the last decade many of us feel that immigration has been way too high, and this is reflected in tresses on infrastructure and housing (we've had couples living in cars where each is on a decent professional salary, simply because there was no housing available in their area).

                However that's not a racist issue, I don't personally care where you come from I just don't like to see such high numbers of people being brought in when the infrastructure is breaking and there's so many people living in cars, over-crowded houses (eg a 3 bedroom place with 20 people in it) and so on. Give us some time to catch our breath, fix under-investment and so on, then come ok? Otherwise, you might not find the place the best to live in while we're struggling to catch up with demand :)

  12. macjules Silver badge

    Dyson

    Like Apple their products tend to be chronically overpriced. Unfortunately, where one can claim that Apple products do not suck one can say the same for Dyson.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Dyson

      Dyson stuff is expensive but I have a couple of them and I am really happy with their value for money.

      The market decides whether they are overpriced, if they are overpriced they don't sell. But they are selling like hotcakes and so are priced about right.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Dyson

        Priced right, yes; but that says nothing about whether they are good value for the money.

        Personally, I'll never buy a Dyson product, because 1) their advertisements for their bullshit fan are full of bullshit, to the point of outright fraud, in my opinion; and 2) every time I see one of their advertisements I want to punch him in his smug, self-indulgent face.

        There are few corporate personalities who can evoke that sort of response from me. Gates, Balmer, and SatNad didn't, even when I was at Peak Microsoft Hatred (which I'm close to hitting again, thanks to Win10). Steve Jobs was a supreme bullshit artist, and I avoided his presentations like the plague, but they didn't get me that worked up. Elizabeth Holmes was patently a con artist who attracted hagiography from nitwit business-press writers, and I was glad to see her found out, but if I'd met her I'd just have shaken my head.

        Dyson, though. Argh.

        Fortunately, I have the option of not purchasing his firm's products. Sometimes capitalism is quite nice.

  13. Blank Reg

    I would never be a billionaire as I would have cashed out long before that and gone on to enjoy life rather than trying to make yet more money than I could possibly spend without being entirely stupid.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonder which next prominent Brexiter ...

    ... will be exposed as another RAGING hypocrite.

    Not that it matters. Like Trump, They could be exposed as animal-raping scat-munchers and not lose any of their standing with their fellow revolutionary thinkers.

    Anything will be forgiven, or even just ignored, so long as you stay true to the Church Of Brexit and regularly chant the sacred mantras of, "Take Back Control!" "Sovereignty!" & "We Won, You Lost!" (Along with the classic, "Will Of The People!" )

    1. Keef
      Coat

      Re: Wonder which next prominent Brexiter ...

      Can you tell me where this Will bloke (Will Of The People!) lives, I'd like to give him a bloody nose.

  15. Unep Eurobats
    Boffin

    Nature abhors a powerful vacuum

    I thought Dyson wanted to leave the EU because Brussels are going to limit the wattage of domestic appliances, ostensibly in order to save the planet from climate change. Their real reason for doing this, allegedly, is because Dyson's extra-powerful vacuum cleaners are wiping the floor (see what I did there) with the continental competition. The scoundrels.

    So it doesn't really matter whether Sir Jim is in Singapore or not, as long as we Brits remain free to Take Back Control (TM) of our living-room carpets with the super-puissant suckage of our Mega-Cyclones.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Nature abhors a powerful vacuum

      >I thought Dyson wanted to leave the EU because...

      It is going to be interesting, given nothing has been said about Dyson's operations in the EU27, I'm assuming that Dyson (Singapore HQ'd) will retain a 'business' presence in the EU27 that satisfies EU company residency rules so that it can continue to import its products from Singapore directly into the EU27 without the involvement of the UK...

      Just another ringing (not) endorsement of Brexit...

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Nature abhors a powerful vacuum

        thought Dyson wanted to leave the EU because Brussels are going to limit the wattage of domestic appliances, ostensibly in order to save the planet from climate change

        The EU wattage restriction still applies to appliances regardless of where they are made.

        However, the EU wattage restriction has been really very helpful to Dyson because they have created and patented devices that are even better at vacuum on lower power and are walking the walk.

  16. adnim Silver badge

    Business Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

    Bring production back to the UK, pay a decent wage and stop being a greedy cunt.

    1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

      Re: Business Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

      Bring production back to the UK, pay a decent wage and stop being a greedy cunt.

      ===

      ah, bless -

      a true fantasist right here :o) everyone else takes the money and runs = probable result to gaining excessive finanial clout

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Business Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

      It's a business not a charity. They need to compete and use every advantage.

  17. dnicholas Bronze badge

    I'd tell everyone they should do one thing then prove them all idiots by doing something else

  18. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Pint

    The world is a big place and I want my share

    I didn't get to be a billionaire by giving my money away, I invested and got people to lend or even give me it, my first instinct is not money but for playing the games that get me money. Money is just tokens for playing "the game of life", the harder to you work the more tokens you get the more you win. My first instinct is to make sure my business and investments keep making those tokens. Doesn't mean I don't have some love of the country of my birth, however I've spent the last 5-10+ years travelling the world in pursuit of my interests and by seeing the huge diversity of what's out there, people and places, I know the world is bigger than one tiny island and it's slightly, albeit proud, insular outlook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The world is a big place and I want my share

      Probability is Daddy gave you a trillion, and now you have a billion....

      Though If I had a billion I would be too busy lounging back, eating the peeled grapes that an appropriately attractive grape peeler prepared while deciding whether I should take the Rolls, the yacht or the jet when I pop out to the night club to waste time reading El Reg

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The plan

    1. Buy an island (remote)

    2. Place sign on the jetty: If I don't know you, Fuck off!

    3. Enjoy

  20. JLV Silver badge

    brexit sentiment question

    Reading the BBC comments, it seems way more people are defending Brexit, including hard Brexit, than you lot.

    Any idea why?

    An inquiring Canadian wants to know

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: brexit sentiment question

      Pure ignorance.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: brexit sentiment question

        Us, or the BBC lot?

    2. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: brexit sentiment question

      Don't read the BBC Have your say comments. They usually consist of a lunatic* fringe of society and cannot be used as any sort of opinion basis.

      *Apologies to genuine lunatics...

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: brexit sentiment question

        BBC comments are a nutter magnet.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: brexit sentiment question

          gotta say, for a mainstay of progressives (to the point where i find it cloying), the CBC here is colonized by hordes of nutwing Trumpy commentards.

          they shut down commenting on stories involving Indians. each one generated a cesspool of racist comments, every time

          post Trump win, I head there, expecting “woe on us, Hitler is nigh”, like from actual people here. nope, instead: “hey maybe that’s what we need here to shake things up”.

          during our massive summer forest fires here in BC, Albertan comments: “screw those welfare hippies, serves them right for blocking our pipeline”.

          anyway, to a lesser extent “eff them, take back control from lying Brussel”s a sizeable chunk of the Brexit comments I see on BBC. which given the site’s actual position seems odd. it’s not like CBC or BBC == Fox.

          was just curious.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: brexit sentiment question

      IT people as a ruel have to think things through first.

      They're all project managers at spouting off at the BBC.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: brexit sentiment question

      Troll resource allocation.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    "it's not any sane version of any of the originally-agreed models for Brexit. "

    You mean there was an actual sane version of Brexit where the UK gets an even better deal with the rest of the EU than the one it's already got (which from the PoV of the other 27 is pretty f**king cushy) and yet stays inside the free market?

    And people actually thought the rest of the EU would sign up to that?

    Here's my rule.

    When bad s**t happens and keeps on happening follow the money.

    For those who know "The Night Manager" ask yourself "Who is the real Richard Roper?"

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: "it's not any sane version of any of the originally-agreed models for Brexit. "

      Well some enquiring minds have observed that there might be a relationship between being forced to comply with European money laundering/investment transparency and the large number of very wealthy people people and media types supporting a hard Brexit which will make that pesky interference a thing in the past (the UK, along with other governments have done a competent job of keeping that in the long grass but crunch time was coming)

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: "it's not any sane version of any of the originally-agreed models for Brexit. "

      The only sane model of Brexit is the (realisable) one where we sent in our Article 50 notice on the morning after the result, spent a couple of months confirming that there was no middle ground on which either side could build a deal, and then spent the remaining year-and-three-quarters making preparations for a hard brexit without chaos at borders and several million nationals on both side wondering whether they were going to wake up as illegal immigrants in the country where they'd lived for however many years.

      However, we got dithering, delay, incompetence and no evidence of any preparation whatsoever. I don't think anyone voted for that.

  22. Nick Kew Silver badge

    On the turn

    Keep one's ear to the ground?

    I think I read within the last couple of days (possibly in Private Eye) that Rees-Mogg's hedge fund has been closing a lot of bets against the UK. Which should mean he's now finally going to allow a damage-limitation exercise to pass.

    Note in passing: when Soros made gazillions betting against the UK, he at least wasn't doing it from inside Parliament, let alone pulling the Prime Minister's strings.

  23. RobertLongshaft

    Why would a billionaire move his business outside of the UK?

    Probably because he's sick of paying tens of millions of pounds in tax to a government which grants India £1.4b in foreign aid every year - INDIA HAS A SPACE PROGRAM AND NUCLEAR SUBMARINES.

    Perhaps if we had a sensible tax policy, where we don't punish inventive, creative conscientious people then perhaps more companies would want to do business here.

    Socialism is literally a cancer which eats the country from the inside out, we could become the next Venezuela if Corbyn and his common room lunatic colleagues get anywhere near power.

  24. iGNgnorr

    Assuming I had a brain ...

    If I were a UK tech billionaire, I would assume I was clever, and would therefore have started planning for this over 2 years ago, not waited until there's just 2 months to go.

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