Today the Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 and the UK has begun the two-year process of leaving the European Union. In the tech sector, it’s a time for reflection about who we are, and also what we’re capable of.
Some of us voted for Brexit, some of us didn’t.
Some of us think it’s a huge mistake, some of us think it’s a big opportunity.
But we’ve all got one thing in common – whether we like it or not, we’ve got to make it work. As you assess the future direction of your business amidst the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations, remember that you have power to make a difference.
- Regardless of what happens, the world isn’t getting smaller or less well connected. An initiative like the new partnership between London and Paris shows that we can find fresh ways to work with our friends in the EU. If you’re a citizen of the world today, you’ll be a citizen of the world after Brexit.
- People in the EU do want to work with us. For example, I’ve talked to people from Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands in recent months who are keen to build bridges with tech in the North of England regardless of Brexit. They know we have talent and potential (and they don’t just want to steal it).
- The tech sector is one of most adaptable, open-minded and free-thinking groups of people in the country. We invent the future every day. Some of us may not have voted to leave the EU, some of us may feel emotionally wrenched, but we can help shape what happens next. I’m reminded of the B4rn initiative right here in the North of England. Who would have thought that you could bring gigabit broadband to rural Cumbria way before most urban areas have had the slightest sniff of it? People wanted it, so they made it happen. Convention and permission are overrated.
- The government is listening to the tech sector’s concerns and ideas. Talk to us at Tech North and we’ll be happy to pass on feedback and ideas to our contacts in Whitehall.
Right now, tech in the North of England has never been stronger. Regardless of what happens with Brexit, we’re all building something great in this part of the world. It’s in your power – whether you’re the CEO of a big tech firm or an entry-level coder – to succeed, to build bridges, to invent the future.
Look out for a new edition of our Brexit Video Diaries series soon. In the meantime, you can catch up with the previous episode.
Image credit: EU Flagga / Flickr