Global tech giants, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard have announced today that they will be supporting the remain campaign ahead of the upcoming European Union Referendum.
In a blog addressed to partners, employed and customers, Microsoft’s UK CEO Michel Van de Bel stated “our view is that the YK should remain in the EU”. Whilst Hewlett Packard Enterprise also wrote a letter to its UK employees stating that leaving the EU would have a “detrimental impact on the long-term prospects for employment, research, investment and innovation in this country.”
Hewlett Packard’s letter mentioned that they had ‘examined economic analysis on the consequences of leaving the EU’ and subsequently came to the conclusion that the UK’s membership within the EU is more beneficial for them.
The letter went on to cite benefits such as those associated with free trade and access to talent, improved economic stability and consistent in the legislative environment alongside global and financial capabilities and the strength of the UK’s academic institutions concluding in making the UK ‘an attractive location for multinational companies’ .
According to TechUK, a poll conducted in March showed that 70% of UK tech firms support remaining a member of the EU. With Microsoft employing over 5000 staff across the country, it is evident that such a decision would be of major relevance to them.
The Federation of Small Business also found last year that 51% of people thought that EU membership benefitted the UK economy.
This comes shortly after the news that UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said that a close win for the Remain Campaign could trigger a new poll claiming that a small defeat for his Leave Campaign would mean this was “unfinished business”.
However this has been labelled as ‘childish and undemocratic’ by critics including Damian Green, MP for Ashford who commented:
“As politicians we have a democratic duty to accept the verdict of the voters – even if we disagree with it. Nigel Farage’s determination to hold a second referendum if his side loses shows a childish and undemocratic disregard for the will of the British people.”
Image credit: flickr.com/dragontomato