Microsoft and HPE come out against Brexit

Leaving EU could damage investment in UK, companies claim


Microsoft believes the UK should stay in the EU, stating that future investment in the country could depend on its continued membership.

In a blog post, the company's UK CEO, Michel Van der Bel, said the company had chosen to make its position known following repeated enquiries from staff, customers and partners.

Van der Bel said that Microsoft is respectful of the fact there are many reasons why people support either side of the debate, but that "as a business that is very committed to this country" it believes the UK should remain in the EU.

As evidence of the company's commitment to doing business in the UK and the investments it has made here, Van der Bel cited its large workforce and significant partner ecosystem.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

He added, however, that the UK being part of the EU "has been one of several important criteria that make it one of the most attractive places in Europe for the range of investments we have made". He gave the example of the decision to locate its first overseas R&D lab in Cambridge, saying it knew that "the world-leading scientists [it] wanted to attract would want and need to work directly alongside other great researchers from across the region".

"This flexibility of doing business attracts the best people, and the investment that follows them, to the UK," Van der Bel said.

"Whatever the outcome of the referendum, we respect the decisions made by UK voters. Our commitment to our staff and business here remains firm, but we also believe the UK remaining in the EU supports important criteria for continued and future investment by Microsoft and others," he concluded.

Microsoft is not the only large tech company believing the UK should remain in the EU, with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) issuing a similar statement today.

In a note to staff reproduced by City AM, Andy Isherwood, managing director and SVP for UK and Ireland at HPE said: "Hewlett Packard Enterprise has concluded that the UK's continued membership of the EU brings a range of positive benefits to our business, our customers, our employees and to the UK economy as a whole.

"These benefits are associated with free trade and access to talent, improved economic stability and consistency in the legislative environment within which we operate across Europe. Combined with its particular capabilities as a global financial and legal centre and the strength of the UK's academic institutions, these benefits have made the UK an attractive investment location for multinational companies like HPE."

Advertisement - Article continues below

"We believe that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be likely to have a detrimental impact on the long-term prospects for employment, research, investment and innovation in this country," Isherwood concluded.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now


Policy & legislation

Breaking up big tech 'will cause more problems', says EU

8 Nov 2019
Policy & legislation

EU shelves plans to impose digital tax

13 Mar 2019

Most Popular

cloud computing

Google Cloud snaps up multi-cloud analytics platform for $2.6bn

13 Feb 2020

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a testament to Satya Nadella’s strategic nouse

14 Feb 2020
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020