The government is risking the tech sector’s future competitiveness over Brexit and needs to take ‘No Deal’ off the table, says GlobalData

Following the outcome of last night’s (15 January 2019) Commons defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal,

David Bicknell, Principal Analyst for Thematic Research at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the impact of Brexit on the tech sector:

“The scale of Theresa May’s Commons defeat has left the UK IT industry staring a ‘No Deal’ scenario in the face, with potentially severe impacts on the ability of tech companies to service contracts with customers, along with worries over falling investment and failing competitiveness because of the ongoing political and economic uncertainty. It has left tech leaders deeply concerned and desperate for ‘absolute clarity’ on how the government intends to progress.

“The government’s two-year Brexit nightmare has proved that not only was the referendum advisory, it was also illusory in terms of the outcomes it could deliver. Now its machinations are threatening the very competitiveness of the UK’s landmark digital sector, with the risk that tech investors will look elsewhere in search of greater business certainty.

“From a tech point of view, the government consistently talks about ‘winning the global race’ – in artificial intelligence, for example. But not even Mo Farah can win a race with his legs tied together. The government – indeed Parliament as a whole – needs to stop wringing its hands and playing political games, and find a way of taking ‘No Deal’ off the table. That will at least create some space for the difficult discussions ahead.”

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