For new foreign direct investment projects, the EU falls behind the UK for the third year in succession

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readJun 17, 2022

Cash rolls in as foreign investors continue to rank the UK above the EU for new projects thanks to Boris Johnson and his Brexit Cabinet

The UK retains its crown and job creation is the largest in a decade

This report covers foreign direct investment into the UK and into the EU. It is based on the work of the EY (formerly ‘Ernst and Young)with their annual “attractiveness surveys”. The latest set came out on Monday and they clearly show the UK leading the EU when it comes to new foreign direct investment projects.

Whilst this may sound like a dry subject (some might even think “dull”), bear with me. Foreign investment in the UK last year generated 60,372 jobs — the country’s highest level in the last 10 years — and brought considerable wealth into Brexit Britain.

1. New foreign direct investment projects — UK versus the EU — 2021

  1. United Kingdom: 764
  2. France: 678
  3. Germany: 381
  4. Spain: 286

Average jobs created per new project

  1. United Kingdom: 68
  2. France: 48
  3. Germany: 38

Total jobs created in the UK in 2021 from new foreign investment projects: 60,372

“Brexit has not damaged the UK’s fundamental appeal”

Commenting on the annual EY Attractiveness Survey, Anna Anthony,
UK Financial Services Managing Partner at EY said:

“Six years since the EU referendum, we can be confident that Brexit has not damaged the UK’s fundamental appeal, with its deep history in financial services and access to top talent. Investors clearly recognise that the UK continues to offer a unique environment for growth, innovation and progress.

“That’s not to say the UK isn’t facing strong competition, and France in particular has narrowed the gap. But the UK secured a much higher number of ‘new’ projects, which typically create more jobs and higher levels of investment.”

And how are things looking for 2022 and beyond?

The EY reports do not only look at last year, they also look ahead. Here the picture is even rosier.

“One of our most striking top-line findings is that sentiment towards UK investments is increasingly positive this year. Over half — 58% — of the investors surveyed are planning to invest in the UK in 2022, up from 41% last year and the highest level of intent ever recorded in these surveys.”

Foreign investors planning to make UK investments in the next 12 months
in new and existing projects

Here are figures from before the Referendum

  • 2016: 23%
  • 2017: 24%
  • 2018: 24%
  • 2019: 23%
  • 2020: 41%
  • 2021: 58%

Brexit Britain leaving the EU

I always like to bring readers information they will not see elsewhere. In this case, a highly detailed set of reports came out on Monday from the well-respected EY (formerly ‘Ernst and Young’) stable, which we looked at in detail.

I also like to focus on what is new. In the EY report, the really interesting information appeared way down. In my summary above I looked at this and the results once again show Brexit Britain in a very positive light. What I found most interesting was the number of NEW foreign direct investment projects — and how the United Kingdom is once again ahead of all EU countries.

What was also striking was the quality of these investments. Those placed in the UK create far more jobs than those in the EU.

It is also encouraging to see the immense growth in the number of foreign companies expecting to invest in the newly-independent United Kingdom this year. It is difficult to see this as anything other than a vote of confidence in Brexit Britain, from around the world.

[ Sources: EY Attractiveness Survey 2022 ]



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.