Shaw calls on the government to get down to business with EU Referendum

The government must push forward with its plans for an EU Referendum or risk seeing a slowdown in tech investments which could stymie the market, Russ Shaw of Tech London Advocates has warned.

The TLA founder said that whilst the need for the government to hold a Referendum, following its election promises, was understandable the lack of movement was concerning.

He said: “The government was elected with a mandate to carry out a European Referendum and that’s fine. However, what we need to do is make it happen as soon as possible.

“The increased uncertainty caused by the prospect of a referendum could slow down the pace of investments in UK businesses.

“From a tech perspective it is better that we see the referendum sooner rather than later.”

And following the recent announcement of Heathrow’s runway expansion Shaw called on the government to get the project of the ground as soon as possible.

“We have now had the expansion plans for Heathrow approved which is great and they have left the door open for Gatwick.

“I think we really need expansions of both but with Heathrow already approved what we really need to just is get on with it.

“Three years of work has gone into the airport project and we need to push on and get stuff done.

“The government needs to drive both the airports and European Referendum forward to ensure that business in general and tech firms know what is happening and can plan for the future.”


In anticipation of today’s Emergency Budget, the first fully conservative Budget in almost two decades, Shaw predicts that the Chancellor will concentrate on productivity and skills.

“Today we are likely to see the Budget focus on productivity and skills. The UK is currently showing very strong figures but productivity remains slow,” he said.

“However the tech sector is one of the stronger parts of the market when it comes to productivity and encouragement from the government could go some way to helping improve the nation’s overall productivity.”

But Shaw’s main message was that the tech sector needs to have increased certainty if it is to fulfil its potential.

“The longer things like the EU referendum take the more uncertainty we will see in the market. It’s time to make it happen.”

You can follow today’s Emergency Budget live on Twitter here