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Brexit doesn’t matter to us, as long as it doesn’t kill the economy – Vodafone UK CEO

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Brexit has been an incredibly divisive topic of conversation for many, but Vodafone hasn’t concerned itself with lobbying at all. Brexit doesn’t actually matter, the success of the UK economy is the primary concern.

“We reflect the health of the UK economy, so we need the economy to thrive,” said Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffrey at Future Ready, a somewhat glorious name for a technology showcase and press conference.

Although responses were carefully worded, reading between the lines the message was simple. In or out of the European Union doesn’t actually matter for Vodafone, this is a company where the success in intrinsically linked to the success of the UK’s economy. For Vodafone UK to thrive, the UK economy needs to continue heading in the right direction.

There are of course worries for the business on the whole. As a multi-national corporation, Vodafone moves a lot of people, data and currency between the various different operating groups, a proposition Jeffrey would like to see continue, though as a national business, in or out of the Union is irrelevant.

A good example of this attitude is with the part PR pitch, part clever business move, taking the form of the Vodafone incubation initiatives. Tech Starter and Bright Sparks are two of the initiatives, both aimed at driving scale for start-up organizations, and creating growth in the UK technology industry.

“We have three of the top ten research universities in the world; innovation does absolutely happen in the UK,” said Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK’s General Counsel & External Affairs Director. “We want to enable innovation and create exciting new jobs.”

Tech Starter offers a prize fund for start-ups who have working prototypes but lack the support to go to the next level, while Bright Sparks is a mentoring programme where the same organizations can lean on Vodafone’s experts, from digital sales strategy through to GDPR. Encouraging growth not only moves the economy in the right direction, an important point for Vodafone, but supporting these young businesses get Vodafone in on the ground floor.

With more than 50% of Vodafone UK’s business reliant on the enterprise market, if the economy is heading in the right direction, its business is likely to as well. With this in mind, the Brexit outcome matters very little, as long as it doesn’t tank the UK economy.

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