Dungannon’s biggest employer has Brexit contigency plans including new headquarters in the South

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One of Dungannon’s biggest employers has already chosen to set up its new headquarters in the Republic of Ireland rather than Northern Ireland.

Moy Park’s parent company JBS made the move due to the financial shelter afforded by the South and fears over the EU referendum, it is believed.

However, the company’s Chief Executive Janet McCollum said she was confident that the business would continue to expand in spite of the vote. “Although there will be changes to the environment in which we operate, we are confident that we have a robust business that can continue to thrive and grow”, she said. JBS had contingency plans in place in the event of the UK leaving the EU. It had been busy setting up Dublin-based shell companies as it prepared to relocate its global headquarters.

Moy Park is one of the UK’s and Europe’s biggest agri-food companies and relies heavily on workers from across the EU, although it has refused to disclose exactly how many of its staff are from outside the British Isles.

Talking about Moy Park’s pro-EU stance, Janet McCollum said: “We are a European business and Europe is our market, so we are strongly in favour of the UK remaining within the EU.

“Any move away from the free market in which we currently operate could increase tariffs, add administrative burdens and limit export opportunities.”