A London Tech Company on Brexit

A sombre office resounds disbelief and concern for the London Technology Scene.

A diverse team

Like many businesses in London pebble {code} (a Digital Innovation consultancy) is made up of a diverse group of individuals. We have a number of EU Nationals working at pebble {code}. Many of our team live with EU Nationals and as Londoners this diversity brings colour to our lives and skill to the office we work in. London is the most vibrant International City I’ve lived in. We feel part of Europe and rub shoulders with nationalities from all over the world. It feeds our capital, our creativity and our energy.

London The European Technology Hub

London has been growing steadily as a technology hub for a number of reasons. The City of London provides the finance needed for startups to get off the ground and for technology innovation to happen. The UK Government has a good number of programmes to support this too including InnovateUK and Digital Catapult. As a major European capital London can draw on talent from within European countries. As European Citizens have the right to work in any other European Country it is easy to hire talent. These factors combine to make London the European Technology Hub where funding, culture and skill collide. After Brexit Berlin looks an even more worthy rival.

Poorer for less investment

Financial markets hate instability and we are entering a massive phase of uncertainty. It could be two years before Britain leaves the EU and trade deals cannot be negotiated until then. Why would financiers invest if they are unsure of the trading environment they are working in? Across the board the UK will face challenges on Investment and Tech will likely suffer. Startups may not get funding, corporates may look to pull back on speculative technology products.

Poorer for less access to talent

We do not know how working arrangements will work out but given than immigration was such a large part of the Brexit campaign it is anticipated that working arrangements will change. There has been talk of an Australian style points system. This would make it harder and slower to bring talent to the UK. Right now as an employer we can have a Skype call with someone in Madrid and offer them a job straightaway. By adding more process it is likely that top class talent may move to other hubs like Berlin or San Francisco.

Unclear laws

Right now there are a number of European Laws that cover startups in the UK. These amongst other things surround data protection and data compliance. Quite what will happen to these rules is unclear. Massive changes to laws could break business models or cause costly rewrites of code bases. The move to a digital single market now looks problematic.


The atmosphere around the office today has been one of deep sadness. As a Technology Company in London we feel very much part of the European economy and have served clients from many of the European nations. Whilst we have valid commercial concerns about what Brexit means for our business the sadness in the office is as much cultural. Brilliant technology comes out of London as we are able to attract great European talent and combine with the energy of a diverse, cosmopolitan capital.

With the vote to leave the EU we have become poorer on a number of levels.


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