BBC eyeing post-Brexit base in Brussels or Amsterdam

File photo. A photograph showing the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) headquarters in Central London, Britain, 30 January 2017. [Will Oliver/EPA/EFE]

British public broadcaster the BBC could open a major new European office after Brexit, perhaps in Brussels or Amsterdam, a Belgian official told AFP on Thursday (24 January).

The BBC did not have any immediate comment on the report, which comes as businesses look to adapt to a future where Britain is outside the European Union.

“The BBC is planning, given Brexit, to open a major base on the continent,” a Belgian government source told AFP, confirming press reports.

“The prime minister met BBC managers yesterday in Davos to sell them on Belgium. We know we’re on the shortlist. There are two more, including Amsterdam.”

Belgian leader Charles Michel is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an annual get-together for the global business, media and political elite.

“We have several trump cards,” the official continued.

“We’re a multilingual country, we have several international institutions like the EU and NATO and we’re close to London, three hours by Eurostar.”

The BBC already has a news bureau in Brussels for reporters covering Belgian and European stories.

But, after Brexit, the corporation — partially funded by a British TV licence fee and partly by overseas sales — may need to retain an EU business presence.

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