I was happy to put my name to the 'Entrepreneurs For In' letter giving our support for the UK staying in Europe.
The concept of a single Europe is very compelling. A powerful group of countries with shared values, unrestricted trade, free movement of people and standardized regulations.
In practice the grand project hasn't fulfilled its promise. It 's very expensive, slow moving and covered in layers of bureaucracy. It has also exposed some fundamental differences of opinion between the countries.
But I would argue that to walk away now would be giving up on something that is and will bring tremendous benefits to the UK.
The only way to drive and influence the way Europe addresses its issues and fulfills its potential is from the inside. The UK can be a leading force in Europe and help to shape its future.
To give up now reminds me of a child that doesn't like the way a game is being played and storms off saying '..well I'm not playing then.'
This is too important to decide not to play. In the tech world, we have seen first hand the benefits of the free movement of talent within Europe. It is one of the main reasons for why London and other hubs in Europe are growing so rapidly. It is a key competitive advantage. There are or can be many other benefits to being Europe, not just for tech but across industries.
Let's play the game. Let's change the game. And lead from the front.
The Entrepreneurs for In letter, written by the Innocent Drinks founder, Richard Reed – the vice-chairman of Britain Stronger in Europe – said startup companies benefited from “being able to do business within Europe’s single market of 500 million consumers, with one set of regulations across 28 countries, and the ability to recruit the brightest people here and across Europe”. Reforms secured by David Cameron in his recent renegotiation of UK membership would “create even greater business opportunities for our firms”, said the newly launched group.