Black Eyed Peas founding member Will.i.am has spoken out about the “awesome” value immigrants add to the UK and its tech industry.
The Hip Hop artist has donned many hats as singer, musician, philanthropist and entrepreneur, and is no stranger to the UK’s tech space, which faces a threat from Brexit.
Speaking at an event celebrating his partnership with Atom, a digital-only banking app, he told HuffPost UK: “There’s something that’s happening in the world that’s inevitable.
“Technology [is] growing so fast that these companies have more money than governments so to block developers that may come from Bangalore, India or Shenzhen, China, Singapore, the Middle East, Africa, to not build companies here in the UK, I don’t get that one.
“Now, Sergey [Brin] is from Russia build an awesome company in Silicon Valley called Google. Now why wouldn’t you want a company that big in your country?
“There are brilliant minds everywhere all around the world.”
He added: “You want companies to be in your country, that are humongous companies like the companies we see in Silicon Valley, [the companies] are all from immigrants, all have CTOs that are from different countries in the name of collaboration, connectivity.”
Highly-skilled EU workers are most likely to leave the UK according to new research.
A Deloitte report found that 47% of highly skilled workers were considering leaving the UK over the next five years.
With EU nationals forming 40% of the UK’s tech work force, experts have voiced concern over how the ongoing negotiations in Brussels could limit the industry’s access to talent.
Research commissioned earlier this year by the UK’s technology trade association, techUK, revealed that technology companies are behind 24% of UK exports and 3 million jobs.