Tech business owners warn of Brexit threat to their sector

The letter, signed by small business tech owners, says leaving the EU means companies face a risk of becoming hard to create and fund.

Lobbying group Tech For UK has garnered the support of nearly 100 tech business owners, many of them small businesses, in their call for a People’s Vote on Brexit.

The group argues in a letter to MPs that the Government’s draft “Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on leaving the European Union” will not serve the best interests of the UK tech industry. According to Government figures, the tech sector is expanding 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy and employs over 2 million people.

Wikipedia's founder has signed the letter
Wikipedia’s founder has signed the letter

‘Brexit is a dire threat to the UK tech industry,’ the letter says. ‘Leaving the EU’s customs union, single market, Digital Single Market, VAT area, data area and regulatory framework (in whole or part) will tear apart the bedrock on which our industry operates and cause us grave harm.’

The letter has already been signed by major tech founders like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales as well as small business tech owners including Stephen Johnston, founder of consulting firm Fordcastle and Leigh Carrick-Moore, CEO of employee benefits firm Hello Perks and recruitment company e-search.

Further reading on Brexit

Nigel Green, CEO of financial consultancy deVere Group, speaking to Small Businesses sister publication, Information Age, said Brexit still represents an unknown for UK tech. ‘We won’t know if the Brexit deal is good, bad or ugly for another 10 years,’ he says.

The group says the loss of access to EU funding, such as that which goes into breakthrough innovation such as Horizon2020 are adversely affecting the UK tech industry.

The group have also created a tool where you can send a voice message to your local MP via the Final Say app.

Here’s a list of all the tech business owners who have signed the letter

Martha Lane Fox, Founder, Doteveryone
Cécile Baird, Founder, Decentrl.Agency
Bernhard Niesner, CEO, Busuu
Ben Whitaker, Founder, Masabi
Simon Murdoch, Founder, Episode1 Partners
Giles Andrews, Cofounder & Chairman, Zopa
Madhuban Kumar, CEO, Metafused
Nuala Murphy, CEO, Moment Health
Peter Ward, Founder, WAYN/Humanity Inc
Priya Prakash, Founder, D4SC
Tushar Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO, Hubble
Tom Alisi, Director,
Daniel Appelquist, Director of Web advocacy and open source, Samsung Research UK
Jon Atkinson, Technical Director, FARM Digital Ltd.
David Batey, Founder, Nickelled Ltd
Pilgrim Beart, CEO, DevicePilot
Toby Beresford, CEO,
Fabrice Bernhard, Co-Founder, Theodo
George Bevis, CEO, Tide
Tim Boughton, CTO, Mention Me Ltd
Nic Brisbourne, Managing Partner, Forward Partners
Timothy Brownstone, CEO, KYMIRA
Mike Butcher, Editor at Large, Techcrunch
Dominic Campbell, CEO, Futuregov
Andy Cockburn, CEO & Cofounder, Mention Me
Michele Cuccovillo, Partner, Rock Mission
Tom de Grunwald, Creative Director, Microclimate
Ed Dean, CEO, Woodseer Global
Charlie Dobres, CEO, Busking It Productions
Ilicco Elia, Head Of Mobile, Deloitte Digital
Rob Elkin, CTO, Busuu
James Evans, Managing Director, Ltd
Ben Farren, CEO, SPOKE
Josh Feldberg, Head of Digital, 89up
Adam Fudakowski, CEO, Switchee
Matthew Gardiner, Founder, Catch London
Gianluca Gindro, Senior Data Scientist, Geophy
Courtney Glymph, Product and Solutions Communications, CA Technologies
Joanna Goodman,Tech Journalist
Martin Goodson, CEO, Evolution AI
Conor Graham, Cofounder, #HackTheHub
Marcus Greenwood, CEO, Ubio
Volker Hirsch, Founder, Blue Beck / Tech North Advocates
Jana Hlistova, Founder, Diversity Hacks
Alex Hoye, Co-founder, The Faction Collective
Jack Huang, Director,
Ian Jindal, Founder, Pencil / InternetRetailing
Stephen Johnston, Founder, Fordcastle
Riaz Kanani, MD & Founder, Radiate B2B
Bindi Karia,Innovation Expert + Advisor
Nicholas Katz, CEO, Acasa
Frank Kelcz, Partner, Collider VC
Laurence Kemball-Cook, Founder & CEO, Pavegen
Benji Lanyado, Founder & CEO, Picfair
Richard Marr, Cofounder, Be Applied
Ivan Mazour, CEO and Founder, Ometria
Melanie Moeller, Product Lead, Sky Spain
Katie Moffat, Head Of Digital, The Audience Agency
Guy Morris, Managing Director, Quiz the Nation
Daniel Murray, Co Founder, Grabble
Rob O’Donovan, Ceo, Charlie HR
Nick Patterson, Founder, Movemeon
Hephzi Pemberton, Founder, Kiteka
Jonathan Petrides, Founder, allplants
Chris Pointon, Co-founder, Racefully
Adam Price, Founder, VouchedFor & Hatch
Gareth Quinn, Founder, Digital DNA
Benjamin Redford, Co-founder, Mayku
William Reeve, CEO, Goodlord
Laure Claire Reillier, Co-Founder and COO, Launchworks & Co
Marc Roberts, CTO, HiyaCar
William Roberts, Founder, Loyalty Bay
Josh Russell, Partner, Resolve
Nick Saalfeld, Director, Wells Park Communications
Merje Shaw, MD, Path59
Dimitar Stanimiroff, CEO & Co-founder, Heresy
Cassandra Stavrou, Founder, Propercorn
Tamara Sword, Founder, TRM&C
Andrea Tricoli, Co-Founder, Expressly
Andrew Walmsley, Non Exec Chairman, Inskin Media

Other signatories are:

Irfon Watkins, Founder, Dovu

Ben Whately, Co-founder and COO, Memrise

James Whatley, Planning Partner, Ogilvy UK

Jessica Kennedy White at UCL Educate

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for and from 2018 to 2019.

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