Brexit: tech firms start moving investment from UK

My piece for The Register on early reactions to Brexit and Theresa May’s new government, based on interviews with 10 companies, finds that a few have already decided to move new investment away from the UK. Nothing major, and none talked about shifting existing work from Britain; but there is a lot of worry about the supply of European techies being closed off.

Adam Hale, chief executive of Fairsail, says: “If we can’t hire the right number of people, or it becomes harder to hire EU nationals, our only alternative will be to offshore some or significant amounts of development.” On a more personal level, some people who run start-ups are thinking about whether they belong elsewhere. Daniel Rovira, a London-based Swedish national who runs Itcher, is thinking about Barcelona: “You feel a little bit not wanted in a country you came to think of as your home,” he says of Britain. Continue reading “Brexit: tech firms start moving investment from UK”

After Brexit, the NHS will have to home-grow its people

The NHS was never going to get an extra £350m a week from Britain leaving the European Union. Boris Johnson, who spent the last few weeks on a bus pushing this claim, is a political corpse. But missing out on this money will not be the health service’s biggest Brexit challenge.

It looks likely that a post-Brexit Britain will control immigration more tightly than it has as part of the EU. As NHS England head Simon Stevens said during the referendum campaign, the health and care sectors depend heavily on 135,000 EU staff, about 5% of the total workforce. Continue reading “After Brexit, the NHS will have to home-grow its people”

IT, immigration and education for The Register

The Register has just published my piece on why IT departments in Britain employ so many staff from outside Britain (and likewise in the US).

There’s a lively debate already underway in the comments, but rather than immigration, interviewees blame a combination of schools’ lack of interest in coding – now being changed by schemes like Raspberry Pi’s Code Club – and a sense that software engineering isn’t a top-draw job, unlike respectable professions such as, er, investment banking. Continue reading “IT, immigration and education for The Register”

Leave out dodgy numbers on EU and NHS

The Vote Leave campaign bus has ‘We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead’ written on its side. This number is, to be polite, a bit dodgy. Due to the rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher, the actual amount is about £250m a week, or £13bn a year. The EU then spends more than £4bn in the UK, mainly on farmers and badly-off parts of the country, which would push the figure down to about £165m a week. Continue reading “Leave out dodgy numbers on EU and NHS”

Why tech firms fear Brexit: immigration. Lack of it.

Many people will vote for Brexit because they fear immigration. UK bosses of tech companies I have spoken to for The Register will vote against it because they fear lack of immigration. And the one I found who will vote for a British exit from the EU thinks that Cameron’s deal is bad partly because it tries to restrict immigration.

Continue reading “Why tech firms fear Brexit: immigration. Lack of it.”