What does Brexit mean for tech?

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The UK’s tech sector was tremendously in favour of the country staying in the EU. However, despite the results, investors and analysts have stated that the tech sector is well prepared to withstand the exit.

The main concern for technology companies and supporters, is the effect that Brexit will have on Britain’s ability to hire new talent and tap investment. The co-founder of TransferWise –a money transfer company, Taavet Hinrikus stated:

“The two main benefits of being part of the EU are access to talent – because of the free movement of labour – and the fact that 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. It’s not good news for the tech sector either in the UK or in Europe.”

The elimination of direct access to new talent and investments has generated an uncertain future for Britain’s tech sector. Despite this, advantages have been pointed out by optimistic investors who highlight the beneficial short term impact on tech in the UK. For example, Saul Klein points out the resultant equal opportunities for start-ups and investors across different cities in Britain:

“Whether you’re based in Manchester, London or Edinburgh, you still have the same opportunities. There are billions of dollars of venture capital in the UK.

We’ve got a government that’s one of the most forward looking in the world when it comes to the adoption of tech. So while I’m disappointed, if you’ve got lemons you make lemonade, that’s what entrepreneurs do.”

It is evident that the future of tech is uncertain with Brexit, however delving into the uncertain can also be advantageous. As it will take a minimum of two years for Britain to leave the EU, any significant changes in the tech sector are expected subsequently.

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