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As Brexit looms, this is how much UK tech companies rely on Europe

And now what? For the United Kingdom tech sector, Brexit extension way extra uncertainty
A brand new ‘Brextension’ delays the United Kingdom leaving the Ecu Union till October. However the persevered uncertainty round Brexit is leaving many within the generation business at a loss for words, pissed off – and dropping out on trade.

Just about part of exports from the United Kingdom’s virtual sector cross to the Ecu Union, in step with new executive figures.

The brand new knowledge displays how intently attached the United Kingdom’s rising tech ecosystem is to the Ecu marketplace. The United Kingdom is lately because of go away the EU on its 31 October Brexit closing date, without or with a deal on govern industry, knowledge coverage and plenty of different key spaces of cooperation.

SEE: The Brexit predicament: Will London’s start-u.s.keep or cross? (TechRepublic quilt tale)

Exports of products and services by way of the United Kingdom virtual sector to the EU stood at £19.4bn in 2017, in step with the file from the United Kingdom executive’s Division for Tradition, Media and Recreation (DCMS). It stated the “pc programming, consultancy and comparable actions” sector used to be the biggest exporter: industries on this sector exported £nine.1bn value of products and services to the EU. Greater than 40% of products and services exports by way of the United Kingdom virtual sector cross to the EU. 

What occurs to the principles governing the export of virtual products and services after Brexit is a huge concern for UK-based tech firms as a result of this used to be now not lined by way of any of the so-far failed makes an attempt to get a hold of a Brexit deal that may be agreed by way of each the United Kingdom parliament and the EU. That may imply that despite the fact that a deal used to be reached, firms promoting products and services will have to maintain two competing regulatory regimes and being not able to be sure that products and services will also be equipped at the identical phrases to shoppers in several places. All of this might make it more difficult for UK companies to compete in Europe.

With regards to particular person international locations, exports of products and services to america stood at £10.9bn in 2017; after america, Germany, Eire, France and the Netherlands (all within the EU) had been the international locations to which the United Kingdom’s virtual firms had been possibly to export.

The United Kingdom virtual sector covers companies concerned with the whole lot from the manufacture of pc hardware thru to instrument building and consultancy.

The DCMS Sectors Financial Estimates 2017: Business file additionally confirmed that over part of products exported by way of virtual sector firms cross to the EU. It stated the United Kingdom exported £nine.3bn of virtual sector items, of which £7.6bn used to be from the “production of electronics and computer systems” sector, and £3bn of inventive industries items.

As a rustic, america used to be additionally the largest supply of virtual sector products and services imports, at £7bn, adopted by way of Eire, France, Germany and India. However once more, as a buying and selling bloc, Europe used to be the largest supply of products and services imports. Virtual sector firms imported £14.6bn of products and services from the EU, and corporations within the “pc programming, consultancy and comparable actions” sector had been the biggest spenders, uploading £five.1bn of products and services from the EU, simply over 40% of the full.

China is the largest unmarried supply of imports for the virtual sector, accounting for £9bn, adopted by way of Netherlands, US and Germany.

However once more, as a buying and selling bloc, the EU used to be the biggest supply, accounting for £17.5bn of virtual sector items, of which £16.2bn got here from the “production of electronics and pc” sub-sector, over 40% of the full.

The file discovered that the virtual sector exported products and services value £44.8bn and the inventive industries – which additionally covers some tech companies – exported £32.8bn in 2017. Just about 10% of the United Kingdom’s overall exports got here from those companies. 

The knowledge emphasises the dimensions of the danger to the United Kingdom tech business that a no-deal Brexit may pose. For tech firms, the worst-case no-deal Brexit may see knowledge flows between the United Kingdom and Europe lower or considerably curtailed, vital issues of each recruiting group of workers from Europe and sending group of workers to Europe to paintings on tasks, in addition to issues of uploading merchandise and spare portions.

Tech firms have warned that if there is not any settlement with the EU over industry it’ll be a lot more difficult for them to do trade: 70% of tech firms who replied to a survey overdue remaining yr stated a no-deal brexit would have a ‘very destructive’ or ‘somewhat destructive’ have an effect on on their trade.

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