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What does Brexit mean for the UK’s technology sector?

Brexit

Now that the UK has decided to leave the European Union, technology firms have been left to wonder what the future holds. For years, the UK – and London in-particular – has championed the role of tech firms in the economy.

As news of Brexit emerged tech firms including BT, TalkTalk and Sage reported share price falls. We are not clear what is going to happen until the government triggers Article 50. We do now that there will definitely be changes happening.

Talent shortage…

The tech industry relies on a vast amount of foreign talent from both the EU and worldwide. Brexit has resulted in lots of tech companies worrying that it will lead to a shortage of talent. Visas may be revoked or difficult to obtain – there has been an increase in applications for visas since the referendum. However, the government has indicated they are willing to welcome skilled tech workers from abroad. So hopefully, the pool of available talent will not be diminished.

Barriers…

Depending on the negotiations, there may be regulations put in place that turn into hurdles for tech companies. Losing access to the Digital Single Market could reduce the UK’s ability of our tech companies to work seamlessly across the European Economic Area.

The British regulator has said coming out of the EU doesn’t necessarily mean Britain will adopt the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation. Which could mean British organisations would not have to implement any changes to how they manage Data Protection or face the tougher penalties that the GDPR introduces.

Investment…

Investment is the life blood of the UK’s Tech Industry and is especially important to start-ups. Opinion is divided on the impact on future investment. Some commentators believe that investor focus will move away from the UK, while others think that Brexit will have no impact on investment or may even see it increase.  Only time will tell.