A new survey from Juniper Research has found that 65% of UK tech employees believe that Brexit will have a negative impact on the global tech industry.
The Tech Sector’s Case for Remain
The survey, Brexit – The Tech Industry Take, consulted employees from both UK and international firms about the likely effects of Brexit. Most of those interviewed who believed that Brexit would have a negative impact cited several reasons for their choice:
• More than 7 in 10 UK respondents who think it would be bad for the sector believe it would be harder for UK tech firms to attract and employ individuals from EU countries.
• Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds think that the industry would suffer as a result of reduced funding from the EU for the UK tech sector and that London would be less attractive as a tech hub.
The Tech Sector’s Case for Leave
However, the research also found that a significant minority (35%) of UK respondents believed that Brexit would either have little impact on the tech industry or else could even have a net positive effect.
• Almost 90% of those who felt that the tech sector would be unaffected by Brexit cited the global nature of the tech industry and how it is largely unaffected by political or geographic boundaries.
• Of those who believed Brexit to be positive for the tech sector, more than 80% cited less EU red tape as a benefit.
Immigration Trumps Economy as Key Issue
The survey also found that immigration was regarded as the biggest issue in the referendum, with 38% of respondents placing it at the top of their list, ahead of the economy (28%). Furthermore, 66% of respondents who expressed a preference felt that the Leave campaign had outperformed Remain.
According to Dr Windsor Holden, Head of Forecasting & Consultancy at Juniper Research, the nature and diversity of the reasons cited for the UK to remain in the EU presented difficulties to the Remain campaign.
“Vote Leave have focused effectively on the emotive issue of immigration,” he said. “The combination of financial and economic issues which concern those wary of Brexit cannot as easily be encapsulated and communicated and therefore present a real challenge to those seeking to engage with the public.”
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