70% of tech companies are positive about the UK tech sector’s potential for growth over the next two years, down from 93% in March 2016, a new poll of techUK members has found. In response to the survey findings, techUK has called for tech and the digital economy to be placed at the heart of the UK Industrial Strategy and negotiating the terms of a new relationship with the European Union.
Key findings of the survey include:
- Seven in ten (70%) of respondents are overall positive about the UK tech sector’s potential for growth over the next two years, compared to 93% in March 2016. One in five (20%) were very positive, down from 52% in March 2016.
- Over three quarters (77%) of tech companies surveyed with a European HQ have those headquarters based in the UK.
- The top three European markets for respondents were Germany (41%), France (36%), and the Netherlands (17%).
- Just one in five companies (22%) are positive about the impact of the vote to leave the European Union on non-EU exporting over the next two years.
- Nearly half of respondents said that the outcome of the EU referendum would have a negative impact on foreign direct investment (49%), capital investment (48%), and R&D spend in the UK (48%) over the next two years.
Julian David, CEO of techUK, said: “UK tech is resilient and innovative but this substantial drop in confidence clearly demonstrates the need to be vigilant to immediate and pressing concerns faced by tech companies. To maintain the sector’s exceptional growth rate they need to be confident that they will have access to the digital single market, a talented workforce and that international data flows will be protected.
“Our members are also very clear that there is also an opportunity for the UK. Now is the time to develop a world-leading digital infrastructure, and make the UK the place to invest and grow. Government must power this digital revolution, and the Industrial Strategy is a great starting point. Government needs to lead by example and take the opportunity to focus not just on protecting traditional industries, but on growing these industries through digitisation and supporting new industries that will drive the future economy.”
About the survey
Survey of techUK members conducted in July 2016. Results based on responses of 237 business leaders, with a representative spread from across UK micro tech businesses, SMEs, through to large companies both UK-based and international companies with significant operations in the UK.
For more information on techUK's work on Brexit, check out our Brexit Hub.