News: techUK creates new Brexit unit in response to worrying poll.
The tech industry is suffering from post-Brexit blues, with a techUK poll showing a 23% fall in confidence in the UK tech sector’s ability to grow over the next two years.
70% of respondents are overall positive about the UK tech sector’s potential for growth over the next two years, down from 93% in March 2016. With over three quarters of those surveyed having a European HQ based in the UK, just 20% were very positive in regards to UK tech growth, down from 52% in March 2016.
Before the EU Referendum vote, the UK tech industry was overwhelmingly in support for the UK to stay in the EU, with access to the Digital Single Market and foreign investment just two major areas cited as being at risk in the result of a Brexit vote. These concerns have continued, with nearly half of respondents saying that Brexit would have a negative impact on foreign direct investment (49%), capital investment (48%), and R&D spend in the UK (48%) over the next two years. Just one in five companies are positive about the impact of the vote to leave the European Union on non-EU exporting.
Julian David, CEO of techUK, said: “UK tech is resilient and innovative. Nevertheless, with a substantial drop in confidence the Government must be vigilant to immediate and pressing concerns faced by tech companies. Whether it is access to the single market, ensuring that companies are able to attract the best international talent, or securing a stable legal footing for complex international data flows, Government must do everything it can to ensure the UK continues to be the natural home for tech.
Following the hugely concerning survey findings, Charlotte Holloway, Policy Director, will be leading a Brexit unit at techUK which will focus on mitigating the impact on the tech industry. Alongside the survey findings, techUK has called for tech and the digital economy to be placed at the heart of the UK Industrial Strategy and negotiating the terms of a new relationship with the European Union. Priorities must include access to the single market, attracting tech talent and securing the UK’s place for international data flows.
“Our national tech success represents some of the best economic news in the UK in recent years.” Mr David said. “That’s why the Government’s industrial strategy and long-awaited digital strategy must account for the inherently global nature of our fast-growth industry. That means really delivering on rhetoric that the UK will continue to be outward-looking."