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Brexit Dents UK Tech Industry Confidence

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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techUK members are less positive about the future of UK technology following the EU referendum than they were in March

Confidence in the British technology industry has fallen by almost a quarter since the country voted to leave the European Union (EU) on 23 June, according to industry body techUK.

A survey of its members found 70 percent of companies were positive about the potential for growth over the next two years – down from 93 percent in March. Just one in five companies are “very positive”, down from 52 percent five months ago.

Nearly half believe there will be a negative impact on foreign investment, capital investment and R&D spend in the UK over the next two years and just a fifth are positive about Brexit’s impact on exports outside the EU.

Tech UK confidence

Europe 3techUK is now calling on the government to ensure UK-based firms have access to the European single market, the ability to attract international talent and can participate in international data flows when negotiating the UK’s departure from the EU.

“UK tech is resilient and innovative but this substantial drop in confidence clearly demonstrates the need to be vigilant to immediate and pressing concerns faced by tech companies,” said techUK CEO Julian David.

“Our members are also very clear that there is also an opportunity for the UK. Now is the time to develop a world-leading digital infrastructure, and make the UK the place to invest and grow.

“Government must power this digital revolution, and the Industrial Strategy is a great starting point. Government needs to lead by example and take the opportunity to focus not just on protecting traditional industries, but on growing these industries through digitisation and supporting new industries that will drive the future economy.”

In the lead up to the EU Referendum, UK-based technology firms were overwhelmingly in favour of continued membership of the EU and the ‘Remain’ campaign had support of Microsoft, IBM, BT and others.

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