Dutch Cabinet caught off-guard with Shell move to London
The Dutch Cabinet was "unpleasantly surprised" by oil and gas group Shell's decision to move its headquarters to the United Kingdom, said caretaker Minister Stef Blok of Economic Affairs. Employers' association called Shell's departure a "huge loss for the Netherlands."
The Cabinet was informed by Shell on Sunday and "greatly regrets" that the company is moving. "We are in talks with the top of Shell about the consequences of this proposal for jobs, crucial investment decisions, and sustainability. These are extremely important," Blok said.
The company will be completely British on paper. Shell told the Cabinet that personnel consequences will be "limited to relocating some executive/board positions from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom."
VNO-NCW is disappointed that Shell is leaving the Netherlands. "This is a huge loss for the Netherlands. With Shell's departure, the Dutch business climate will deteriorate," said the employers' association.
According to VNO-NCW, the presence of large international companies' head offices is an attraction for businesses from all over the world. Other large companies already preceded Shell fairly recently. For example, food group Unilever became entirely British on paper, and information and data supplier RELX also "moved" to the United Kingdom.
VNO-NCW said it understands that Shell "must be able to make decisions much faster because of the energy transition/sustainability," and the current complex shareholder structure does not help. "We hope that a solution can be found to keep Shell in the Netherlands. We understand that Shell chooses to continue to drive the energy transition from the Netherlands. That is important for our country," according to the organization.
Reporting by ANP