18 January 2017
What did you think of the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday?
I welcome the greater clarity that came from yesterday’s speech, as I’m sure every other business leader in the country does. I also fear we’re still looking at a long road ahead of us with Brexit negotiations likely to take another two years. I hope that, in the process of finding a Britain that works for us all, the tech industry will not be left behind.
As part of her 12-point Brexit plan, May said yesterday she wants to make Britain ‘the best place for science and innovation’ and a ‘country that looks to the future’. But what does that really mean?
A hard Brexit could be a blow for the UK tech industry in many ways and we need to ensure we keep the industry going strong. UK tech is experiencing a boom at the moment and we have to find a way of working around the situation with which we are faced and come out even stronger.
I think it’s incredible how much faith international businesses continue to have in our country. It must be for a reason, but we can’t take it for granted! Just last week I read an article (http://startups.co.uk/uk-tech-sector-leads-european-investment/) which suggested that the UK’s vote to leave the European Union actually had little impact on the appetite of investors to invest in Britain. In fact, British technology businesses attracted more investment than tech businesses in any other European country in the second half of last year. And we attracted a larger foreign presence too, with new head offices for Google, Apple, Facebook and Snapchat in the capital.
To me, this shows the impact of the creative and digital industries on our economy. These ‘industries of the future’ are fast becoming the ones helping the country become the ‘global Britain’ the government desires and it is a shame that the tech industry still has little say on Government policy, compared to other industries.
I still have so many unanswered questions. How much of a say will we really get? And how long will it take before we know more?
I believe that, if the tech industry wants to continue to be innovative and forward-thinking, waiting and seeing is simply not an option! We need to work together and work hard to ensure trade deals that are solid and future-proof, allowing us to stay at the forefront of innovation in a post-Brexit age and further establish the tech sector in the UK’s leading industry.
What do you think? Have the latest announcements put your mind at ease?