Why Brexit could benefit the UK’s tech sector


Trūata’s Chief Privacy Officer and Chief of Product Innovation, Aoife Sexton recently provided comment in the New Statesman on how the UK can take the lead on regulating emerging tech, to benefit start-ups.

Aoife commented that British companies are still at risk of “privacy paralysis… Companies are still grappling with this conundrum of secondary use of data, and I think that is stymieing innovation because there’s a lot of confusion and uncertainty.”

Sexton adds that there is “a careful balancing act” between fast adoption of cutting-edge technologies and the adequacy status needed to handle the data of EU customers, but that good, proactive regulation would make this possible. “Where there is new tech emerging and where a lot of hard questions get asked in grey areas, there’s absolutely ample space there for a leading regulator to step forward.”

Investment in UK companies since the Brexit vote in 2016 suggests some confidence that Britain will continue to innovate. Last year, international investors pumped more than three times the capital they invested in 2016 into the UK according to data from Tech Nation. Start-ups say they have not struggled to find backing from domestic or international investors; both Osu and Ziglu raised early-stage funding in the past month.
Overall, there is a “really optimistic picture” for UK start-ups, despite the sector’s well-founded reservations about Brexit, says Coadec’s Hallas.

“The UK over the past five years has actually, if anything, cemented its place as the foremost technology ecosystem in Europe,” he says. “The very successful growth of the ecosystem has continued and there’s no signs of that abating.”

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