Virgin Media have joined the leaders of 34 UK technology and telecoms companies, as well as the UK subsidiaries of US tech giants, to urge the public to vote to remain a member of the EU today.
The letter sent, which includes contributions from Virgin Media, BT, and the UK branches of IBM, Microsoft and HPE was published first in newspaper The Times, pointing out the immense risks faced by the UK if the country votes to leave the EU.
“The tech sector in the UK is a global success story. It’s expanding and growing at a rate far above the rest of the economy in the UK, and steadily creating new businesses and employment opportunities. Membership of the European Union was the foundation for that success, and a vote to exit the EU would hamper it greatly.”
Among those signing the letter of support are the likes of:
- Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media CEO
- Gavin Petterson, BT CEO
- Michel van der Bel, Microsoft UK CEO
- Andy Isherwood, HPE UK and Ireland Managing Director
- David Stokes, IBM UK CEO
- Julian David, techUK CEO
The letter then continues by explaining why the signatories believe a remain vote to be the bestmove for the UK. In their own words, “tech companies are not starry-eyed about the EU.”
“Repeated surveys and studies done on startups, entrepreneurs, investors and in the corporate world have made it clear that the overwhelming majority want to stay, and will vote accordingly. Staying a member of the European Union is the best decision for the UK economy, especially for the tech industry – according to techUK members, many of whom are the owners of small businesses, being part of the EU means it is far easier for them to trade across Europe. It means Britain is much more likely to attract investment from overseas, and makes the country globally competitive.
If the UK decided to leave the European Union, it would leave tech firms – and their unfortunate customers – facing huge uncertainty that is likely to carry on for some time. The digital marketplace will continue to be shaped by powers now outside their control, and their access to 500 million consumers will crash out.”
These 34 signatories are simply the latest in a huge list of organisations and influential individuals to urge the public to vote “remain”. Prior studies have shown that the European Union is an asset to tech companies, at every level from startup to corporation, so their decision is not a surprise.
However, despite all this, Google data is showing greater search volume for the phrase “leave the EU” than for the phrase “stay in the EU”.