It’s hardly a secret Brexit’s a polarising issue. But new research from Global Tech Advocates shows the opinion of foreign tech leaders on the EU departure couldn’t be clearer
London is undoubtedly Europe’s tech capital. Not only is it home to more successful fintech and AI startups than the rest of Europe but the city has also until now enjoyed increasingly bigger investments into its ecosystem. However, Brexit is threatening its position as a leader as many international leaders are becoming more cautious about investing in the city, according to new research from Global Tech Advocates, the private sector network.
Having quizzed 260 overseas tech experts, the researchers revealed 55% wouldn’t set up shop in Britain because of Brexit. Indeed, 25% were unwilling to invest in a UK tech startup for at least a year. The lack of confidence even extends to the nation’s talent, given 31% said Brexit deterred them from hiring UK citizens. Specifically, 68% see the UK leaving the EU as a top hindrance for the British tech community, with Britain’s immigration controls taking second place.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, given 87% believe London remains a global tech hub open to international collaboration. Indeed, US titans like LinkedIn, Google and Bloomberg recently expanded into the Big Smoke.
Commenting on the findings Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates, said: “International connections have always been the staple of British business and now more than ever, they should be used to fuel growth. We must double down to build stronger relations and ties with global tech hubs and communities – if we fail on this front we risk turning our back on new waves of investment, talent and innovation.”
Speaking about Britain’s clout with Silicon Valley Lannie Medina, founder of TechBay Area Advocates, a section of Global Tech Advocates, added: “Silicon Valley has historically been the world’s leading tech hub but the UK has made significant strides in the past five years. Brexit is putting all of that progress at risk, with investors and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area being more cautious to engage with Britain in light of Brexit uncertainty.”
Although the capital’s international reputation remains relatively unblemished, it seems Brexit’s a thorn in the side of Theresa May’s ‘Global Britain’ vision more so than a catalyst.