In most cases it’s too early to determine and gauge IT tech and its customer’s response to the UK’s Brexit vote. The sudden change in economic expectations and the reduction in concrete business opportunity has taken me by surprise as both sales opportunities are reduced and investment plans are re-evaluated and at the best postponed. The cause is thought to be uncertainty, both the uncertainty around the UK’s short term economic performance which last week’s Bank of England response, they reduce interest rates to .25% shows the seriousness and uncertainty around the long term end-state of the possible reconfiguration of the UK’s EU membership agreement. I am personally not convinced the UK will actually leave and we certainly don’t know if the alternative is an associate agreement or reliance on the WTO terms.

One further very visible indicator of short term disadvantage is that we are beginning to see UK scientists being excluded from the EU R&D budget grants; again this is premature but people are playing it safe; if the UK Universities and companies fail to form or participate in syndicates in the current bid process this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We should consider that the multiplier effect in basic & applied research is higher than investment in plant, and probably even the arts, the programme is designed to create massive leverage and any loss is forever!

Research & Brexit

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