One of the tech industry’s most prominent lawyers Dorsey & Whitney partner Frances Doherty said there are three significant issues within the tech sector as it braces for the change– access to talent, access to money, and access to research funding, which will all become more difficult regardless of a vote for an extension or not.
Doherty said tech startups, in particular, that were coming to the UK in huge waves before the referendum are beginning to rethink their strategies. Many are now looking outside of the UK for their headquarters because of the difficulty it seems they’ll have in getting the right funding along with the hurdles they may have to jump through to attract talented professionals in their industry and get those professionals over to the UK to work.
“There are a lot of companies, particularly startups, that are making decisions not to settle in London and we put this against a backdrop of what is a booming and thriving ecosystem within the United Kingdom. We have the world’s leading universities here, we’ve got large corporations like Facebook and Google choosing to put their European headquarters in London, so it seems a shame that this uncertainty has been introduced into the mix at a time when we have so much to be excited about”, Doherty said.
Doherty says other countries are also using this uncertainly to try and lure startups and talent to set up their operations outside of the UK. For example, in the few days following the referendum results, Doherty says the city of Berlin mounted an advertising campaign in London with the tagline to startups “Keep Calm and Move to Berlin”.
Additionally, she says Brexit is causing more and more companies to come into the US market earlier when before they would begin in the UK.