The UK tech sector seems to be slowly realising
to two stark facts: Brexit is
happening, and the tech sector won’t get any favourable treatment from the government.
This is a rude awakening after years of government inviting founders and investors to 10 Downing Street for chats, and public money going into schemes like the forthcoming Tech Nation
Not having access to things like the EU’s Digital Single Market
will cause huge harm to the competitiveness of UK tech firms. An informal Twitter poll
by TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher saw the vast majority of respondents think lack of Digital Single Market access would be ‘Catastrophic’ or 'Probably bad.’
The fact is though, the tech sector simply hasn’t really fought for its interests. The government held listening sessions with representatives of UK tech last year, and many who attended came away with the feeling that ministers understood the sector’s needs and wouldn’t let them down. Where were the media appearances, newspaper op-eds and other thought leadership opportunities to change the conversation?
Most of the lobbying that takes place in tech is from big companies like Facebook and Google fighting for their own interests. It’s time UK tech found its voice and realised the government doesn’t love it so much it’ll put its interests above wider political concerns.