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.

Fairsail chief executive Adam Hale, the one reluctantly pro-Brexit IT boss I heard from, said the following – echoing his peers, even if he will vote the other way:

If you turn off the taps of migration, you’re killing the tech businesses in the UK… The only thing we tried to bloody reform is to cut down the number of migrants – that’s the stupidest thing ever.

Buyapowa’s chief executive Gideon Lask said he may have to move the company if non-UK EU staff lose the right to work in the UK:

I think we’d be forced to go. If I was limited in the people I could bring into the business, yes, we’d have to seriously consider where our home was.

Of course, Britain outside the EU could choose to let skilled staff such as IT workers stay and enter. But the paperwork would presumably increase, their partners and family may or may not be able to follow and Europeans might be put off Britain by the increased hassle and perceived anti-European attitude.

It is interesting that the comments under this piece are certainly not overwhelmingly pro-remain like those in the article; if anything, more Brexit than Bremain. I particularly like: “You could of course ignore the campaigns, and do a bit of reading about it yourself. And form your own conclusions.” Good idea.

Full article here.