June 30, 2016

The UK’s tech hub status is under threat

The UK’s tech hub status is under threat

Our decision to leave the European Union puts our country’s status as a global hub for technological innovation in jeopardy, warns Daria Kantor.

The United Kingdom is a world leader in digital innovation. Last year alone saw record investment of more than $3.5bn. The sector is growing a third faster than the economy as a whole, and creating jobs at nearly three times the rate.

London is the heart of this tech movement. A recent study estimates as many as 40,000 digital technology businesses are based in the capital, up by more than 12,000 since 2010, and employing 200,000 people. Experts predict the number of businesses could surpass 50,000 within a decade.

And these tech start-ups are transforming all our lives. From banking to exercise, the proliferation of the internet and smart devices mean digital technology is reshaping the way we interact with everyday services. Today, there are apps for almost anything, from banking to booking a taxi.

But last Friday’s referendum result puts the UK’s status as a tech hub in danger. Technology is one of the most forward-looking industries and the majority of the tech community appears to be shell-shocked by the result.

A fundamental foundation upon which the industry is based is its ability to attract the best and brightest from across the globe. A magnet for the talent of all nations. Drawn in by our world leading universities and generous funding for new start-ups, one in three UK tech start-up workers comes from outside the country, of whom one-fifth  are from Europe. By turning our back on the European Union, not only are we making it harder for young European entrepreneurs to come and participate in the tech industry, we are also effectively putting a temporary sign up saying we’re closed for business.

Champions of Brexit would contend that – through the introduction of an Australian style points system – far from closing the door to foreign entrepreneurs, our immigration system will become fairer. But this new system risks being too laborious and slow for small companies and start-ups.

This uncertainty affects other areas that are also vital to the tech industry too, such as foreign investment. The UK’s access to the single market and ability to scale quickly across Europe was a huge selling point for companies looking to expand to the continent. The absence of a coherent vision for the UK’s future trading relationships, both with the EU and other countries, mean foreign investors are dissuaded from investing in the UK until a clearer picture of the country’s relationship with its neighbours emerges.

It is clear now that the emotive case and stirring rhetoric that led the British people to the exit door of the European Union is no longer sufficient. It is time for those that advocated our withdrawal to give strong, guiding leadership to address the significant uncertainties that threaten both our position as a global tech innovator, and our wider economy.

The tech and entrepreneurial community is not one to flee from a difficult environment, and I have confidence that we will rise to this next challenge. While our position as an international tech hub will not disappear overnight, it’s vital we work together to maintain our influence and assure our European counterparts that London is not closed for business.

5.00 avg. rating (93% score) - 1 vote
Daria Kantor
Daria Kantor
Daria has an international outlook having lived in Russia, Austria, Switzerland and the UK. She studied Business Management at Webster University in Geneva, during which she founded Leadel.com, a European-Israeli initiative to provide young rising Jewish professionals & entrepreneurs access to expert mentors. She is very active, with a strong passion for sport since establishing herself as a junior champion tennis player. Having moved to London Daria noted how many people struggled to fit exercise into their busy schedules and established TruBe to address this gap in the personal training market.
  • Shadow Warrior

    Hammond is continuity Brown. He is a hand-wringing lefty looking for clever wheezes to raise more tax in ways that people don’t immediately notice.

  • captainslugwash

    I predict the Budget will attempt to show the Left how caring the Tories are, and it will be funded by screwing over the working man.
    If Corp Tax comes down, I bet Divi tax will be going up.
    I would love to be wrong.

  • skynine

    We really need to look at tax credits, in particular in work tax credits that encourage people to work part time to preserve the benefits. 45% of women work part time and I would hazard a guess that tax credits are the main cause. This leads to low pay, low skill work in supermarkets and the retail sector including coffee shops. The government needs to get back to the employer paying people to do a job for economic reasons rather than to get onto the tax credit ladder. Like all government benefits it distorts the market and diverts government expenditure into non productive areas.
    The refrain that the government has cut expenditure is not true, it increases every year as more and more goes into welfare.

  • MrVeryAngry

    fat chance

  • MrSauce

    So, when wouldn’t we want a ‘budget for growth’?

  • Rob

    I note that the UK Government has just slapped on a 25% tax charge for anyone moving abroad and wishing to move out their private pension from the UK.

  • SonofBoudica

    The Remoaners will do their utmost to sabotage the Government’s negotiating position. They do not want a successful outcome; they want a failure. They want to be able to scream “Told you so!” from the rooftops.

  • EnglandLaments

    Thank goodness for Andrew Neil, the one media hack who scares the pants off the established politicians. He was spot on with Heidi Allen!

  • joshuafalken

    I had a very long, hard, studied and considered look at the hope, care and aspirations of all Europeans, before I voted to get the UK out of the toxic grasp of Brussels.

    The European Union and it’s charge of “ever closer union” has borrowed and spent its way to oblivion, whilst enslaving the working and middle classes in debt.

    The central control mantra of the unaccountable Brussels ruling elite, delivered through a mixture of socialism, globalism and corporatism is entirely responsible for the populist revolt by the millions of “Just About Managings” across Europe.

    We must remember the ultimate goal of socialists, globalists and corporatists is control, not prosperity. see https://mises.org/blog/goal-socialists-socialism-—-not-prosperity.

    Social equality and economic growth always fail under central control and fighting against the Brussels doctrine on behalf of all Europeans is why I voted for Brexit.

    Britain has a long history of helping Europeans depose tyrants and Brussels is just the latest incarnation.

    Britain is the most racially advanced and accepting society on the planet. We welcome those in need and those that can help us with open arms and a smile; that will not change.

    We are also one of the most innovative, talented and open societies in the world, which why everyone wants to live here. However, we cannot fit everyone in, so we have to have clear, balanced and fair immigration policy which is where the arguments start between the monetarists and humanists will never be reconciled.

    I thought long and hard before coming to the conclusion that leaving the EU was in the best interest of all Europeans, as Brussels is toxic and cannot be reformed from within.

    Also, I find it insulting that people who voted Remain have insufficient faith in British ingenuity, compassion and skill to get a good deal for us and see the Europe that we love get a better deal from Brussels and the reform that European people deserve. https://mishtalk.com/2017/03/29/bad-brexit-deal-better-than-no-deal-mathematical-idiocy-odds-of-no-deal/ and https://www.worldheadlines.info/2017/03/after-brexit-9-reasons-to-be-bullish-on-great-britain/

    The politics of left verses right are dead because neither have delivered the promised economic growth and social mobility for anyone, but themselves. The populists are not selfish per-se, they just want to take back control of their own destiny that left/right politicians have freely given away and/or exploited for their own ends. In my constituency, the local residents group are taking over the councils as politicians ignore voters, so Westminster should beware of the well-organised, local resident independents at the next election. This is a peoples revolution which should be shouted from the rooftops, but liberals remained deafened by the socialist, globalist and corporatist “vested interests” that have spectacularly failed us and are obediently crying foul and fake.

    There will be an initial unpalatable inflationary cost to fighting globalism and rolling back central control that few appear to have factored in, but dismantling failed left/right vested interests should eventually free libertarian socially-conservative capitalism from the shackles of TBTF corporatism to feed economic growth and social mobility.

  • agdpa

    The EU usually makes the wrong decision – on immigration, on freedom of movement, on the euro, on the Ukraine, etc. etc. Little hope it will get Brexit right.

  • brownowl

    Eh? Reference please!

  • Neil2

    Sod caring. Screw the spongers and breeders. Kill HS2. Stop all “green” subsidies. Slash “foreign aid” and walk away from the EUSSR with immediate effect.

  • Rob
  • John C

    What a confused article. It conflates surveillance by the security services with poor defences against fraud.

  • John C

    Err, it’s the UK that’s leaving the EU, not vice versa.

  • John C

    Me, now. ‘Growth’ is a manic obsession.

  • La Face Nord

    Mr Redwood – are you aware of the Biased BBC website? It’s been exposing their agenda for a long time, but I imagine you’ve been well aware of the BBC’s agenda for quite some time…

  • Contact Rvtech

    The post is great

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