On the 23rd of June 2016, we have a decision to make. In or out of the European Union – Brexit is without a doubt one of the hottest topics in the tech industry right now.
With an overwhelming percentage of industry workers opposing the decision to leave the EU, we look into why over 80% of polled tech workers oppose Brexit and if their concerns are justified.
The main concern is that leaving the EU will mean that we lose our central position in global business. With Britain as the ‘digital capital’ of Europe, it relies heavily on its’ association with the single market of Europe. It is thought that Brexit will cause the UK to lose this advantageous position as a gateway into the European single market and many companies could even end up migrating to Europe, shrinking the UK’s tech market.
Another cause of this mass migration could be down to fears as to how Brexit would affect relations with customers within the EU. It is suspected that trading would become more difficult as a result of a more divisive trading barrier between Britain and other European countries, reducing the profitability of trading with the EU. The effects of this ‘barrier’ would also be felt on recruitment – hiring IT specialists from within Europe. We already rely heavily on European specialists in the tech industry and if the UK were to continue to neglect the need to recruit and train young people in tech specialities then Brexit would have a huge impact on our ability to recruit industry-essential employees from outside the UK. These factors mean that mass migration of tech companies out of Great Britain isn’t as far-fetched as we might first think.
Ultimately in the face of the EU referendum, it is not surprising that the tech sector is extremely concerned about its possible consequences, with many projects being delayed or cancelled until the future of the UKs membership of the EU is decided. Although suggestions of mutually beneficial agreements in regards to trading are anticipated if we do leave the EU, it is not enough for the tech industry, as we rely too heavily on a close relationship with many countries within the European Union and the single market as a whole. Although there are arguably potential benefits to Brexit, or ways around the problems it presents, these benefits and potential resolutions are of too precarious a nature to settle the fears that leaving the EU could have a detrimental effects on the UK tech sector.
Whichever way the vote goes on the 23rd of June, it could potentially mean a price hike across tech sector. If we’re out, a weaker pound will hike prices. If we’re in, projects which were delayed or cancelled may become active again, putting a strain on supply, in turn pushing up prices.
Now is the time to be buying IT.