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What could the result of the Brexit referendum mean for UK tech startups?

European Union Brexit
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With June’s EU referendum fast-approaching, it is perhaps not surprising that many of the UK’s tech startups are evaluating what a possible future outside of the European Union will look like.

The debate has been played out in the media for the past few months and will ramp up further in the weeks ahead. But what do entrepreneurs think?

Those voting for Brexit argue the country would be better off if it were to fully detach itself from the Union. They argue that a future outside of the partnership would allow the UK to operate under greater freedom and re-invest its resources into homegrown initiatives as opposed to contributing funds to other member countries.

UK tech industry airs concerns as official Brexit talks begin in Brussels

Tech entrepreneurs who believe Britain should remain in the EU argue that the alliance opens up further opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to trade and passport their technologies – and products – across the continent.

Over the last couple of months, Tech City News has attended various Brexit events and the points of discussion, regardless of whether entrepreneurs are for or against Brexit, seem to focus around the same ‘pain points’.

Tech talent

Access to tech talent is a bone of contention and one that is often cited when the topic of Brexit arises.

Those in favour of leaving believe the UK should focus on nurturing its own homegrown tech talent.

Tech entrepreneurs who wish to remain in the EU, meanwhile, argue that if Britain’s tech scene is to thrive having access to both homegrown and international talent pots is key.

An impact on growth and trade

Starting a business is challenging wherever you are in the world. Entrepreneurs campaigning against Brexit argue that they will struggle to find time and resources to assess how to adapt to the changes that would result should Britain leave the EU.

Those favouring quitting the EU, meanwhile, view the opportunity to renegotiate international relations as providing potential new avenues for growth.

Funding

In light of a recent KPMG report, which showed that UK startup funding in the last quarter was down slightly from Q4 2015, the question on everyone’s minds is that of where the next round of funding will come from.

This doesn’t just mean institutional funding from venture capital firms, and those campaigning to remain in the EU are worried about the possibility that incoming EU funding would potentially cease for UK-based businesses should Britain vote to leave.

Others, however, believe that Brexit would usher in a positive change and free up small businesses from the need to commit time and money to ensure adherence to sometimes costly EU measures – making them less dependent on third party funds.

… To read the rest of this post head over to Cisco’s Startup Hub blog.

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