Most British technology businesses - both large and small - want the UK to remain a member of the Europe Union, according to a new survey by TechUK.
The organisation questioned 277 technology business leaders and found that 70 percent want the UK to remain part of the EU. The findings echo those of a similar survey by the Tech London Advocates organisation.
The respondents who support the Remain campaign believe membership of the EU makes UK businesses more attractive to international investors, helps them to be competitive on a global scale, and helps UK firms to trade with other EU members
Some 42 percent believe that remaining in the EU will create more jobs within member states
In contrast, 73 percent reckon leaving the EU would create more risk for their businesses, while 58 percent believe such a move would give the UK less influence over issues that impact technology businesses.
However, around 15 percent of the survey’s respondents said they are in favour of Brexit, with 91 percent of them believing such a move would give the UK more flexibility in the global economy, and 64 percent claiming it would allow the UK to be more competitive on the global stage.
Out of those who think that leaving the EU would be a good move, 64 percent said the main drawback of remaining a member state is the lack of influence the UK has in the EU. Another 54 percent criticised the regulatory burden put upon the UK by Brussels.
“UK tech is thriving, creating jobs almost three times faster than the rest of the economy. The vast majority of our members say that being in the EU supports that growth,” said TechUK chief executive Julian David.
“Open markets and cooperation are good for business. This is not about fear, it is about opportunity – a market of 500 million consumers.”
One of the core issues with leaving the EU for technology businesses is that many of them conduct trade within Europe.
As such, leaving the EU would not unshackle them from its regulations, meaning they do not have much to gain from Brexit. And by leaving the EU, Britain would lose its influence on how those regulations are set, which according to David would put “UK business at a real disadvantage”.
The EU referendum was a hot topic at a recent London mayoral candidate debate on the City’s digital future.
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