After months of heated debate, the UK has voted to leave the EU. The rest of Europe (and much of the wider world) is looking on in shock.
The EU is the glue that holds together the world’s biggest single market.
At the moment it’s made up of 28 states, 508 million people and a GDP of $18.5 trillion. But before long one of those 28 chairs will sit empty and exports to EU countries, which account for almost half the UK total, will be under serious threat.
Immigration was at the heart of the referendum debate, and Vote Leave’s anti-migrant tone overshadowed the entire campaign and will have a long-lasting impact on Britain. The scaremongering headlines only served to demonise migrants, and Nigel Farage posturing in front of a UKIP poster showing a vast queue of refugees was universally reviled.
The plain truth is that more than 60% of migrants in Britain are employed or in higher education, and 50% arrive here with a degree. And research shows that European migrants are far from a drain on GB finances; in fact, they pay more in taxes than they take out in state benefits. That contribution – at least £2 billion a year – has been helping to fuel Britain’s economic growth, not hamper it. Here at Azimo, we pride ourselves on having a wonderfully diverse workforce. Nearly 80% of our London team were born outside Britain, and there are 21 nationalities and 25 languages across our two offices.
Sadly, though, all those negative headlines have filtered down to the streets and social media channels, to the point where one in three migrants in the UK have been verbally abused for just being from another country. As a digital money transfer company built by migrants for migrants, we know that both British people and migrants who call the UK home deserve #BetterThanThat.
The FinTech industry is booming across Europe at the moment and for now London remains at the very heart of that success. The UK capital is home to Azimo’s HQ and countless other dynamic tech start-ups, and was recently awarded the title of International Capital of FinTech. How this position will be affected by Brexit remains to be seen, but we’ll continue to focus on what we do best – maximising the power of low-cost money transfer to help our hardworking customers create a better life for themselves and the world around them.