Burberry president claims 'enormous' potential for growth after Brexit

There is "enormous" potential for growth after Brexit but tougher immigration rules must not prevent the ability to work with people from around the world, the president of Burberry said.

Burberry president claims 'enormous' potential for growth after Brexit

There is "enormous" potential for growth after Brexit but tougher immigration rules must not prevent the ability to work with people from around the world, the president of Burberry said.

Christopher Bailey, who is also chief creative officer at the luxury fashion house, acknowledged that there was uncertainty about the outcome of Brexit, which had contributed to a delay in Burberry's plans for a new factory in Yorkshire, England.

But he welcomed the possibilities for the British economy from global trade after the UK leaves the European Union.

"It's a much smaller world today than it has ever been in terms of being able to trade," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The possibilities and the potential for growth, both locally here in the UK and overseas, is enormous."

The traditional Burberry trench coat is made in Yorkshire and Mr Bailey insisted he was committed to keeping manufacturing in the UK.

But plans to set up a £50m (€57m) plant in Leeds, England, which would have created 200 jobs, were put on ice following the Brexit vote.

"We are absolutely committed to keeping our manufacturing in this country, but the new site - we are just taking a moment just to make sure that we understand the ramifications," he said.

"There are a lot of moving parts I'm not sure anybody knows the outcome of Brexit "

He also voiced concerns about the impact of the anti-immigration climate.

"I feel very strongly for an open world and a world without borders and a world without walls.

"Being part of this thriving, creative culture - that openness of sharing ideas, of being able to trade in other places, to collaborate with people from different countries and cultures, is fundamental to any creative business," he said.

In July shareholders dealt a blow to Burberry over "excessive" executive pay, with nearly a third voting against generous payouts that include a £5.4m (€6.1m) share award for Mr Bailey.

He said: "Like all of us, I'm a human being and it's not particularly pleasant. But it is also the nature of working as part of a PLC and I take that responsibility very seriously, so I care about these matters."

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up