There are a lot of numbers involved when one enters into a conversation about Brexit. Who could forget the now infamous Brexit bus and its stark warnings that the £350m Britain paid per week to the E.U. could be better spent on the NHS during the election campaign? Or the election statistics we often see repeated, that Leave beat Remain by 52 per cent to 48 per cent. As deadlines loom ever larger, the numbers now being thrown around are often about timings and dates. As I write, there’s speculation about the process of prolonging the two-year negotiating period and delaying or postponing Brexit along with dizzying amounts of money apparently involved with every potential decision and outcome.
Among the deafening and sometimes unintelligible cacophony about levels of employment, industrial production and GDP, it can be easy to forget about the people behind the figures. The lives impacted by every decision taken, every parliamentary statement made and every piece of political rhetoric served up to an increasingly anxious and often baffled population.
The Human Cost
Before I give anyone the wrong idea, I am very much in favour of statistics, data and numbers. I am an entrepreneur and CEO. I make business decisions based largely on figures and information and, so far, this approach has served me well. I am always, however, acutely aware that the success or failure of my business depends heavily on the people I have working with me. Nobody can build a business entirely on their own and I am no different. Success depends on recruiting and retaining the best and brightest people, without whom my business will quite possibly not survive.
It is not surprising, therefore, that it is the human cost of Brexit that concerns me the most right now. Problems hiring skilled E.U. developers and question marks over pass porting rights are presenting many U.K. business leaders with real challenges. They are also creating confusion and anxiety among members of many workforces across the country in many different industries.
Britain as a business hub
I am hugely proud of the strides the U.K. technology industry has made in recent years. It’s testament to the achievements made in this field that despite our sometimes dismal weather and disappointing infrastructure we have created a place that is considered an attractive destination for people to work and build their careers. This has created something of a virtuous circle – fuelled by a plentiful supply of talented people, the U.K. has become more creative, dynamic and exciting and this has, in turn, attracted more talented people here. My fear is that Brexit could, if we are not careful, create an end to this very favourable set of circumstances and that the damage done would be almost impossible to reverse.
Why this matters
My business is video games. A sector which contributes £2.87bn to the U.K. economy and employs nearly 50,000 people. The U.K boasts some of the very best global talent in gaming of which it is deservedly proud. U.K developed games, such as Lara Croft, Grand Theft Auto V and Forza Horizon 3 have truly taken the world by storm and means that we’re considered a force to be reckoned with in this highly competitive sector. One of the reasons why U.K Games Industry is doing so well is because of the plentiful supply of brilliant gaming talent from here and overseas driving us forwards.