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EU REFERENDUM: THE VOTES ARE IN...

Tuesday 28th June 2016
Tags: In the News
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NOW?

Having had a couple of days to digest Friday’s EU Referendum result, various businesses across the UK have started to assess new plans in order to minimise the potential of disruption brought on by the Brexit.

UK technology has been thriving over the years, with various UK based clusters including London and The North of England being recognised as centres for digital excellence across the world.

However this could all be set to change…
The choice made by the British people to leave the EU has left UK tech companies reassessing their position in the UK, with major firms putting expansion plans on hold as they begin eyeing moves to more continental locations, reports The Guardian.

Britain’s financial technology sector is set to be particularly hard hit with the prospect of losing access to European markets a particularly unappealing one to CEO’s.

With so much uncertainty at the moment surrounding the Brexit and with a general feeling of negativity in the press, it’s hard to distinguish how much of an impact leaving the EU will be to the British digital scene.

Taavet Hinrikus, chief executive of foreign exchange service ‘Transfer Wise‘ said the industry will have to ‘wait and see’ to find out the long term impacts.

Hinrikus states that the Brexit is likely to affect regulation and movement of talent. Two massive issues for businesses. “The two main benefits of being in the EU are the access to talent and the fact you can ‘passport’ regulation, so if you’re regulated in the UK, you’re regulated across the EU. We don’t know what’s going to happen with either of those.”

Widening of the digital skills gap?
We put together an infographic in the build up to the referendum highlighting some of the potential impacts to face UK tech if a Brexit were to occur. One of the main points addressed was the threat to talent and a potential widening of skills gaps. 

The digital skills gap is a hurdle currently being experienced across the tech market, with the fight for the right people with the relevant skills as competitive as ever. Being a part of the EU gave British tech businesses access to a greater pool of European candidates that they could recruit to work alongside British techies to increase productivity and quality of tech projects. Now Britain has chosen to leave the EU, there’s uncertainty as to whether tech companies can continue to recruit in the same way and at the same level outside of the UK. Making a move to another country (that may not have as many future restrictions) appealing to companies.

Lack of faith in the UK as a start-up location?
Toby Coppel, co- founder of Venture capital firm Mosaic added that where European tech talent may have aspired to relocate to the UK to set up their tech start-ups in the past they may make other plans now, “The next entrepreneur who’s 22 years old, graduating from a technical university in Germany may, instead of moving to London to do their Fintech start-up, decide to go to Berlin instead. I think that’s one of the biggest concerns I have about the trajectory of the London technical ecosystem.”

As we mentioned, it’s early days and the repercussions are yet to be felt. It would be great to get your thoughts on this. Do you think the Brexit is going to be as bad as reports are suggesting for UK tech? Leave your comments or tweet us @AmsourceTech.

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