What does Brexit mean for technology?



With Toyota announcing that a no-deal Brexit could spell disaster for production in the UK last week, let's have an unbiased look at how a no-deal Brexit could impact the rest of the technology sector.


Toyota

What areas would be most affected?

A recent techUK survey of 277 technology business leaders showed that 70% of technology leading business’ were in favour of remaining in the EU. 

Why?

In staying, UK looked more attractive to international investment, would be more globally competitive and there was a better deal on trading relationships in the EU. 

On leaving, most believed that not only would the UK be less attractive to investment internationally, but it would also create uncertainty and risk for business’ and have less influence on issues affecting them. This would mean that the UK would have to trade on less favourable items abroad. 

Arguing the same boat?


Brexit

Only 15% supported leaving the EU. However, most of them felt that this would also make the UK more globally competitive, and give the UK more flexibility in a global economy. 
They also argued that the UK had a lack of influence due to EU enforced regulatory. This meant that the UK would have a better deal in relationships globally by leaving.

What about business? 


Office

Already there has been a massive reduction in EU migrants to the UK. This is leading to a skills shortage in all sectors, including technology. This can lead to a drain in resources. According to a study by recruitment firm Robert Walters, over 70% of technology employers are experiencing this.

Indirectly, A CBI observation shows that half the people in construction in London are from abroad. With fewer people doing jobs in construction, the UK will struggle to adapt to infrastructure that keeps us connected to the technological demands of everyday life. If there’s no one to lay down fibre optics, the internets speed is slower, we fall behind. 

With technology developing at a rapid rate, business is becoming more digital, ‘digital’ sector jobs are actually ‘traditional’ sector the line between the two fading. 

Speaking of...

Phones

Legalisation for ridding data roaming charges for businesses dealing in the EU was brought in last year. Naturally, questions have arisen should Brexit go ahead. The government has said to introduce a legalization for a cap on roaming charges whilst abroad.

UK operators have planned not to re-introduce charges but there’s no guarantee there won’t be a charge at all as European operators can in theory charge what and as they wish once Britain leaves the EU. 

Brexit

Some investors are more hopeful about the short-term outlook of the results of the UK’s tech section. Saul Klein, a partner at LocalGlobe argues that if your in one of the UK’s big cities like London, Manchester or Edinburgh, you still have the same opportunities as there’s a lot of venture capital in the UK.

He also points out ‘We’ve got a government that’s one of the most forward-looking in the world when it comes to the adoption of tech…If you’ve got lemons you make lemonade, that’s what entrepreneurs do’.

So what do you think? Is it likely that the UK will fall behind should we leave the EU? Will we crash and burn? Or will this boost our economy and give us more opportunities. Only time will tell as we etch closer and closer to March with baited breath as to what awaits us. 

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