In the aftermath of the vote, companies’ earnings from investments in the EU even doubled briefly from £1.8 billion in 2015 (the year before the referendum) to £3.5billion in 2017.
Earnings then fell back in 2018 to £2.5 billion – still up 40 percent on pre-referendum levels – but investment positions have only had to rise a fraction of that over the same period.
In 2015, information and communication firms had £74.7billion invested in the EU in 2015 but this only rose 18.7 percent to £88.7 billion by 2018, according to an analysis of the latest statistics1 by R&D tax relief outfit Carax.
Over the same period, EU inward investment positions for telecoms fell by a third, going from £45.8 billion in 2015, to £32.7 billion in 2018.
This compares favourably with sectors such as UK utilities, which has quadrupled its investment position in the EU but seen earnings increase only a quarter.
Mark Tighe, chief executive of R&D tax relief outfit Catax, said: “For the past few years we’ve heard horror stories about what would happen to the UK following the vote to leave the EU. Against many people’s expectations, the telecoms industry has taken the opportunity to actually grow its investment positions on the continent.
“These sensible investment decisions have clearly paid off, with information and communication firms seeing earnings double in the period after the Brexit vote. This is more good news for British industry as the country starts to set its own course on the journey to become a new outward-looking nation outside the EU”, he said,