UK’s tech firms put expansion plans on hold after Brexit
Britain’s tech companies are putting expansion plans on hold following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Companies are now concerned about how the loss of access to European markets could affect the UK’s financial technology sector, with some considering moving to a continental location.
Surveys leading up to Thursday’s EU referendum showed that the majority of businesses in the technology sector were supportive of Britain remaining in the EU, with 70 per cent planning to vote Remain, compared to just 15 per cent planning to vote Leave.
The majority of London tech workers were against the UK leaving the EU, with 87 per cent wanting to Remain, compared to 3 per cent in support of a Leave vote.
Reasons that businesses gave for wanting to remain in the EU included fears over how a Brexit would affect the economy, difficulty recruiting talent from overseas, and no longer being able to have access to the EU’s Digital Single Market.
Speaking about Thursday’s result, TransferWise Chief Executive and Co-Founder Taavet Hinrikus, stated that the industry will have to “wait and see” to find out what the long-term effects of the Brexit will be.
He said that the result is likely to affect regulation and the movement of talent, which are “two massive issues for business.”
Mosaic Co-Founder Toby Coppel discussed how entrepreneurs will respond to the UK’s exit, stating: “Entrepreneurs are a very resilient bunch, so in general I’m not worried how that community will respond. I think that they are used to living in a fog of uncertainty, even if this is now quite a dense fog.”