When will the UK’s biggest tech firms get back on their feet?
A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) says that, by the end of 2020, British companies could expect to make a profit of up to £3.4bn ($4.3bn).
It suggests that even the “big three” of Google, Facebook and Amazon, which dominate the market, could see their operating margins fall to between 2% and 5% by the time the UK leaves the EU.
In the US, Apple and Microsoft have already been given an ultimatum: either you leave or they’ll cut jobs.
How big will the impact be?
In the UK, the impact is likely to be more subtle, as a number of sectors – including telecoms, finance, and insurance – are expected to see their profits fall.
But McKinsey says the UK will also see a huge economic boost as more companies join the global tech sector, including the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Uber, Netflix, Airbnb and Airbnb.
The UK could also see an impact from Brexit, which could see the UK leaving the EU’s single market, but leaving the remaining parts of the EU – namely, Northern Ireland – untouched.
The UK’s tech sector is still one of the most important drivers of the UK economy, with nearly £13bn of new tech jobs created since the UK joined the EU in 1973.
It is a big part of the reason why businesses are so keen to recruit here and have set up shop in the country.
However, there is one sector where the UK may be a little more vulnerable to Brexit: healthcare.
In 2020, the McKinseys report says that the UK could see an economic recovery of just under £3bn, but that this would be more than offset by a drop in the number of people who have a primary carer.
McKinsey says this is partly due to the “greater reliance on private healthcare services” in the UK.
The UK’s health system is one of only a few developed countries that does not have a nationalised system of NHS care, so there is a lot of competition for care and services.
It also means that it is difficult for companies to scale up or down the level of care provided, which in turn means that the number that are in need of care is higher.
With the Brexit vote, the UK has now entered a period of uncertainty for its tech sector.
While the UK is now in the process of exiting the EU, it will still have to negotiate the terms of the deal with the EU when it leaves the bloc.
What is the UK doing to help tech companies?
The UK is already one of several countries that has made a commitment to the EU to help support its tech industry, which is expected to grow by 40% to 60% by 2025.
This will depend on whether the UK adopts a new system of digital services that would enable more people to access the services they need.
In the meantime, the government has launched a number different initiatives to encourage UK tech companies to relocate to the country, including: allowing British tech companies up to 30% of their workforce to move to the UK from abroad, allowing them to continue working in the US and introducing an investment tax credit.
It has also promised to double the number and value of apprenticeships, and to invest in the development of UK tech talent.
It is not just British tech firms that will be hit by Brexit.
The McKinseys study says that British businesses are likely to see a reduction in operating profits as a result of the Brexit decision.
“If the UK does not negotiate a new relationship with the European Union by the date of the [Brexit] vote, it is likely that operating profit margins will be lower in 2020, and that the amount of profits generated will decline,” it says.
Although McKinsey believes that the impact of Brexit on British tech will be less than the UK as a whole, it does not think it will be so severe.
“We believe that the economic impacts of Brexit will not be so dramatic,” the report says.
“The UK will still be a highly competitive place to do business.
As a result, UK businesses will have a strong incentive to invest abroad and to hire people who can do the job better, rather than in the same country.”
What are the big problems facing UK tech?
In the US , tech companies have long been a target for criticism from conservatives.
As the most powerful technology sector in the world, the American government has been reluctant to engage with the industry in the way that it might in the United Kingdom.
The US is a very open market, with plenty of free trade agreements with many countries, and companies such as Google and Amazon have been able to set up headquarters here.
However, the Trump administration has already indicated that it intends to try to undermine those free trade deals.
In May, President Trump said