Brexiteer James Dyson slams ‘closed and protectionist’ EU in high-stakes battle with bloc

Brexit: Dyson boss insists company is ‘expanding in Britain’

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The inventor of the popular vacuum cleaner Dyson said Brussels’ approach to business regulations was hurting companies. He has endured a multi-year battle with the EU over its testing standards and is seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in damages from the European Commission.

The 73-year old is awaiting a judgement on damages in the row over testing standards on electronics.

Sir James hailed Brexit and said it gives Britain a massive advantage when trading internationally.

As the UK continues to sign post-Brexit free trade deals with nations across the globe, he said he would prefer a complete eradication of trade barriers.

He told The Australian: “The history of our legal case with the European Court of Justice is a salutary one.

“And of course it’s one of the reasons why I’m so ­vocally against being part of Europe.

“To break free of this closed protectionist body and become a free trade nation, able to do deals with all over the world and in particular with the Commonwealth — I’m delighted.

“I don’t see why there should be any trade barriers at all.

“People in Britain should be able to enjoy Australian wine and Australian meat in the same way we can enjoy European wine or even our own wine. Why not?”

Last year he was named the wealthiest person in the UK, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

In his public spat with the EU, his company argues it lost out on sales and was slapped with increased research and promotional costs due to the dispute about the labelling of vacuum cleaners’ energy consumption.

The case is being heard in the European courts.

The claim goes back as far as 2014 when companies were preparing for the introduction of new labelling requirements.

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The following year firms had to display how much power plug-in household electronics would use.

Dyson took issue with the directives due to its bagless vacuum.

The company argued that because the cleaner did not have a bag it needed more power to be used effectively.

But the company said the design was more efficient than traditional vacuum cleaners.

Since the Brexit transition period ended on December 31, the UK has signed a string of trade deals with other nations.

This week Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said her team were in the final stages of securing a multi-billion pound agreement with Ottawa.

The UK is Canada’s second-largest services trading partner.

The deal, which Ms Truss said her team were “about to announce” will see an estimated £42 million worth of tariffs on UK exports slashed.

The trade pact is set to pave the way for zero tariffs on cars, beef, fish, chocolate and soft drinks.

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