Brexit is either the best thing since unsliced wholemeal bread or the devil itself, depending on which commentator you believe (we suspect there’s a sane mid point somewhere). But as the Lords begin their debate on any amendments to the Bill authorising Theresa May to activate withdrawal from the EU, signs from the tech industry suggest there is still growth in UK jobs.
Amazon is the latest to join the charge, reported in the Financial Times, by creating some 5000 jobs when it moves to Shoreditch. Other companies that have already pledged to increase their UK headcount include Google and Facebook, while Apple will consolidate its UK operation with a move to Battersea Power Station, joined by a number of other smaller businesses to make use of the vast facility.
The Lords are unlikely to take a single sector’s view as sacrosanct, and there will inevitably be counterexamples. One contact in a Dublin branch of an American firm that also had a London presence confided in us that he has to be careful not to market his branch too heavily as “the European bit once the UK has left”, as clients a few months ago were queueing up to move their accounts.
However, the threatened crash following the referendum hasn’t quite happened (unless your department needs to buy Microsoft Surface or Apple equipment, or you want Sonos sound equipment for your home beyond the end of the week, in which case you’ll see the effect of proposed Brexit on your expenditure first hand, immediately). This will make the Lords’ debate less clear cut than some of the more shrill commentators had previously predicted.
Of course the UK hasn’t actually left the EU yet, or there would be no need for the debate. The longer term effects are still open to conjecture and forecast. For the moment, however, the IT industry appears to be a relatively prosperous place to work.