It’s fairly safe to assume that most of the world is talking about the UK’s exit from the European Union (or ‘Brexit’). It’s somewhat obvious how this exit will impact the world as a whole, but what’s not quite so obvious is how Brexit will impact technology and innovation.
As a technology writer, examining the ways in which massive global changes like this one will have a negative impact on tech is important to examine and acknowledge. If you’re into tech, you’ll want to take a look at these reasons why Brexit touches all industries - including tech.
The UK Technology Talent Aspect
It’s somewhat obvious that technology companies in the UK are going to suffer, which means that any startup based in the UK and focused on tech is going to suffer too. Aside from the fact that some companies may just go bankrupt or lose investors altogether, it will become a lot harder for companies to recruit talent from the UK and abroad.
Trying to hire foreign talent is hard enough, but now it’s a matter of immigration and getting the right paperwork together. UK companies are also going to have to pay more for talent from the EU, and that’s going to be hard to do considering the tanking British Pound.
Before Brexit, UK technology companies, and universities gained grant money for research from the EU. Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, those funding dollars will be cut. This means that there won’t be as many funds to go around the research world. While the UK might be able to pull it together and hand out grants at some point, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
One Word: Amazon
Amazon has long used the UK as a hub for shipping throughout Europe. This might all change now that the UK is not part of Europe. There hasn’t been any word from Amazon yet this morning, but the company’s stock did take a bit of a plunge along with the Pound. It will be interesting to see where Amazon makes its new home base across the pond - or if the company will seek to find a different base at all.
Existing Tech Relationships
Another area of technology that will suffer with the Brexit vote are existing technology relationships. Some major companies have headquarters in the UK, which means that those companies may have to move, hire cheaper staff, or find staff within the UK that are willing to stick around with the promise of a high Pound.
A Mess All Around
Those in the UK that voted for Brexit have their reasons (and some of them are strong reasons), but the fact remains that the world and the UK will have to pick up the pieces. In this vote, no industry goes untouched or unscathed - tech included. It’s safe to say that we won’t see many technology startups from the UK any time within the next year or so, but we may see some companies pick up the pieces nicely. Time will tell.