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Brexit: Expedia to double size of its UK headquarters despite fears over EU departure

Online travel company Expedia plans to double the size of its UK base and has signed a new lease that runs until 2030, according to a company statement. The company will expand its London hub, which employs about 1,400 staff, by 138,000 square feet.

“We see a lot of opportunity in London given the continued growth of e-commerce and technology industries and the strong pool of talent in the city,” said Johan Svanstrom, president of Expedia-owned Hotels.com.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “London is the tech capital of Europe and continues to be a leading destination for US tech companies with a global footprint. 

“I am delighted that Expedia has pledged its long-term commitment to London, helping to generate new jobs and growth for the capital. Their expansion offers further proof that London remains open for business, talent and investment.”

Expedia is the latest in a series of technology firms to pledge to expand their UK bases, despite uncertainty in the sector over the impact of Brexit

Amazon said on Monday that it would hire an additional 5,000 people in Britain to boost its voice-recognition technology, cloud computing centres and Prime Air units.

In November 2016, IBM confirmed it would build four new data centres, adding to the two it already has in the country, reflecting the increasing use of cloud-based services such as IBM’s artificial intelligence platform, Watson. 

That came shortly after Google confirmed it would go ahead with its plan to build a headquarters in London’s King’s Cross and increase its UK workforce from 4,000 to 7,000.

Despite the announcements, concerns remain over whether technology firms will be able to recruit the number of highly-skilled workers they need if tough immigration measures are implemented after Brexit.

A survey by professional networking site LinkedIn, based on data from more than 3 million people and published earlier this month, found a sharp dip in the number of university-educated international professionals seeking jobs in the UK immediately before and directly after the EU referendum.

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