Brexit has not only forced the global economic markets in a tizzy but has also put the tech startup space in doldrums. London, which has been hailed for long as the Europe’s startup capital, may lose its title to Berlin in Germany, but German tech experts say there’s nothing to rejoice in that victory.
London has been a key associate of Silicon Valley experts, thanks to its location in a finance center and also fewer language barriers. But not anymore, according to some tech industry experts.
“The German startup capital of Berlin is the winner of Brexit, London is the loser. We haven’t seen ourselves as German or British entrepreneurs in a long time. We are European entrepreneurs. Our startups were founded for international markets,” German Startups Association boss Florian Nöll said.
The German Association of the Internet Industry sees Brexit as a setback for Europe in terms of global competition because plans to create a digital single market will now be on a smaller scale. “A fragmented market will lose every form of competitiveness compared with countries like the USA,” warned German Association of the Internet Industry’s politics and law director Oliver Süme. He also predicted financial losses over the course of the UK’s exit negotiations. However, it agreed that Brexit will bring a boost to Berlin’s startup culture.
The Brexit will force companies in Germany to deal with different rules in the UK, and vice versa. “We must now make sure that the consequences for the German and the European digital economy remain as small as possible,” CEO of digital economy association Bitkom Bernhard Rohleder said.
Britain’s exit will also impact American Internet giants in the EU as Germany and France have also been trying to impose more restrictions, especially on Google and Facebook. Without the more lenient voice of Britain, these two countries will have more power in regulating tech companies.