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Ministers hear from the UK tech industry

Government ministers have heard from leading technology companies during a roundtable on the forthcoming negotiations with the EU.

Government ministers have heard from leading technology companies during a roundtable on the forthcoming negotiations with the EU.

Continuing the Government’s extensive engagement programme ahead of Article 50 being triggered, ministers Robin Walker and Lord Bridges from the Department for Exiting the European Union and culture minister Matt Hancock held a roundtable with some of the biggest technology companies operating in the UK to hear their views on priorities for the sector.

Technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in Britain, expanding twice as fast as the UK economy as a whole in 2014. In recent weeks it has given the UK a massive vote of confidence with Apple, Google and Facebook announcing a raft of new jobs and significant investment in our economy over the coming years.

Among the topics of discussion were the Digital Single Market and access to talent once the UK has left the European Union. Attendees also considered the opportunities that are posed by the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU and how continued growth can be ensured.

Speaking after the roundtable, Minister for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker said:

Britain is open for business as a global tech hub and we intend to make sure it stays that way. Since the UK voted to leave the EU we have seen many companies – including technology giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple – continue to invest here, creating thousands of new jobs across the country.

The technology sector is a high performing area of our economy, and it was great to meet with them for a second time to hear their concerns and talk about how they can grasp the opportunities to stem from our new relationship with the EU.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said:

With recent news of big investments in the UK by global tech giants it’s clear that the UK’s digital economy is thriving. We are determined to keep up the momentum and today have been listening to tech firms, large and small, about what matters most ahead of our EU negotiations.

We are committed to protecting and supporting its growth so that together we can make the UK the most advanced digital nation in the world.

CEO of Tech UK Julian David said:

The UK tech sector has been the outstanding success of the UK economy over the last decade and will be vital to the UK’s future growth following its exit from the EU. It was great to have ministers fully engaged in today’s discussion, where tech leaders were able to share their passion for innovation.

Whether discussing the challenges or the opportunities, tech companies believe the UK can have a positive future outside the EU as long as the UK remains open to innovation, talent, trade, investment and collaboration.

By engaging with business leaders and key stakeholders both through roundtables and regional visits, the government is building a national consensus on the approach to the negotiations and and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Representatives from the following companies were present at the meeting:

  • ARM
  • Cisco
  • Coadec
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • HPE
  • HP
  • Huawei
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Samsung
  • Tech-City UK
  • Tech UK
Published 29 November 2016