London tech heavyweights call for European talent to remain in the capital following Brexit vote

 
Billy Bambrough
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London's tech community aren't very happy at the Brexit vote (Source: Getty)

The London tech community has called for non-UK Europeans working in the sector to stay following the country’s vote to quit the European Union.

Russ Shaw, founder of lobby group Tech London Advocates (TLA), has gathered around 150 signatures, including the Mayor of London and the likes of entrepreneur and angel investor Sherry Coutu and co-chief executive of digital literacy startup Decoded Kathryn Parsons, to publicly pledge their support to the sector.

Around a third of those working in London's growing tech industry are EU nationals, according to Shaw.

Read more: Fintech boss Rajesh Agrawal named as deputy mayor for business and enterprise

The petition was sparked by concerns raised by European tech employees over negative public opinion and potential visa regulations.

There are also fears that less investment, including in the tech sector, will slow UK growth following the Brexit vote. Economists have been quick to downgrade the UK's GDP outlook since last Friday.

It's understood there have already been instances of deals being put on hold or cancelled and people choosing to put off moving to the UK.

Speaking to City A.M. Shaw said:

I've been talking to a number of funds and big corporates about their plans. Investment is going to slow down to a degree but what I'm hearing is that they're committed to London tech in the longer term. The sense right now is that they're waiting and watching.

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However, Shaw warned that longer term there is a threat if the UK does break away from the EU and the Single Market tech talent may return to their home countries and investment will move elsewhere.

"If the global landscape deteriorates investors they may change their plans," Shaw added.

Read more: Financial services are more important than ever to the UK after Brexit

However Shaw doesn't think there is a danger of people leaving in the short term.

There's a lot of confusion and a lot of uncertainly about what this vote means for the industry. We're trying to set up a hotline for people who have questions and concerns. I don't think anyone will go anywhere immediately.

Shaw praised the commitment of the mayor of London Sadiq Khan to the tech sector, though called for greater political leadership in a time of turmoil.

From our mayor we're getting the support we need, Khan is very much on the case. The noises and the signals from political leaders are good, there is a lot of support but they are still trying to get themselves sorted out.

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Here's the full list of signatories:

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Russ Shaw, Tech London Advocates

Akosua Annobil, AB2020

Alban Remy, Betterise

Alex Macpherson, Octopus Ventures

Alice Bentinck, Entrepreneur First

Andrew Campling, BT

Andrew Clough, The Brew

Andrew Lynch, Huckletree

Andy Chew, Cisco

Angela Bradbury, Chime Advisors

Anna Thomlinson, MassChallengeUK

Anthony Impey, Optimity

Asher Ismail, miDrive

Baroness Oona King

Ben Brabyn, Level39

Ben Slater, Bow & Arrow

Bethany Koby, Technology Will Save Us

Bindi Karia

Bob Schukai, Thomson Reuters

Branislav Trajkovski, Expand Ventures

Brendan Lewis, Flinders Pacific

Caroline Vaughan, Innovate Finance

Caterina Pavone, MasterCard Worldwide

Chris Tottman, Notion Capital

Chris Wade, Isomer Capital

Claire Cockerton, Entiq

Claire Marriott, Nexec

Dana Tobak, Hyperoptic

Daniel Hirschmann, Technology Will Save Us

Daryl Woodhouse, Advantage Business Partnerships

David Mills, Russell Reynolds Associates

David Norris, Forward Partners

David Pack, City of London Corporation

David Slater, London & Partners

Debu Purkayastha, Octopus Investments

Diane Perlman, MassChallengeUK

Dickens Moon, Foundation Talent

Dylan Richts, London & Partners

Efe Cakarel, MUBI

Elena Corchero, Wearables & ZippyKit

Eric van der Kleij

Felix Mitchell, Instant Impact

Francois Mazoudier, TMRW Tech Hubs

Frank Meehan, Smartup.io

George Whitehead, Angel Co-Fund & Octopus Ventures

Gerard Grech, TechCity UK

Gi Fernando, FreeFormers

Gordon Innes, London & Partners

Guy Rigby, Smith & Williamson

Guy Shand, Prodigy Finance

Hugh Chappell, Entrepreneur & Investor

Hussain Al Hilli Byoot

Huw Williams, Oury Clark

Ian Coyne, Russell Reynolds Associates

Irene Graham, Scaleup Institute

Iris Lapinski, Apps for Good

Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK

James Layfield, Central Working

Janet Coyle, SVC2UK

Jeanette Carlsson, Tech Nordic Advocates

Jeff Tijssen, CapCo

Jeremy Silver, Digital Catapult

Jess Tyrrell, ustwo

Jo Tasker, TechnoPop

Jo Twist, UKIE

Jo Valentine, London First

Joanna Tasker, Jo Tasker Consulting

Joe White, Entrepreneur First

John Aalbers, Arts Alliance Media

John Kampfner, Creative Industries Federation

John Zai, Cocoon Networks

Jonathan Brech, CambridgeData

Jonathan Chippindale, Holition

Jonny Rose, Croydon Tech City

Josephine Goube, YBorder

Juliette Morgan, Cushman & Wakefield

Justin Fisher, American Express

Justin Spratt, Quirk Agency

Kam Rafique, Venturr

Karan Chadda, Evolving Influence

Kathryn Parsons, Decoded

Kay Hutchison, Belle Media

Kerry Ritz, MassChallengeUK

Kim Nilsson, Pivigo

Kutlu Kazanci, SUCool Startup Accelerator

Laura Mercurio, TLA Australia & New Zealand

Lawrence Wintermeyer, Innovate Finance

Lesley Hill, HillShaws & Company

Linda Summers, Tech London Advocates

Lord Jim Knight

Lord Nat Wei, Makers Wharf

Louis Glass, Olswang LLP

Louise Conolly-Smith, London & Partners

Maggie Philbin, Teen Tech

Marc Duke

Mark Boleat, City of London Corporation

Martina King, Featurespace

Mary Keane-Dawson, Ogilvy

Matt Clifford, Entrepreneur First

Matthew Cooke, Unruly

Melissa Di Donato, Salesforce

Michail Smirnov, bringme.com

Mike Adams, Vega

Naomi Timperley, Tech North Advocates

Nene Parsotam, VINE Creatives

Nick Rollason, Kingsley Napley LLP

Nikki Watkins, TLA Women in Tech

Nitin Dahad, TechSpark

Pat Saini, James Klein, Penningtons Manches LLP

Pavel Doležal, Keboola

Penny Power, The Business Cafe

Peter Cunnane, City of London Corporation

Peter Gillingwater, Nexec

Peter Hargreaves, Network Pathway

Phyllis SantaMaria, Learning Without Borders

Pru Ashby, London & Partners

Rafael Dos Santos, Mi-Hub

Rafael Lopez-Jimenez, RLJ Sports Therapy

Rajeeb Dey, Enternships

Ranj Begley, Readly

Reshma Sohoni, Seedcamp

Richard Corbett, Eyetease

Rioch Edwards-Brown, So You Wanna Be in TV?

Robert Norum, Opportunitas

Rohan Silva, Second Home

Rose Hall, Allen & Overy

Rosemary Forsyth, Forsyth Group

Sam Hardy, Sorensen Communications

Sarah Drinkwater, Google Campus

Sarah Luxford, TLA Women in Tech

Sarah Wood, Unruly

Scott Button, Unruly

Sherry Coutu, Founders4Schools

Stephen Millard, eccomplished

Susanne Chishti, FINTECH Circle

Tim Scott, London First

Tony Margiotta

Vicky Brock, Clear Returns

Volker Hirsch, Emerge Education

Wendy Tan-White, Entrepreneur First

Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Mykidsy.com

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