The Guardian tells us that those unicorns, those privately owned and venture capital funded companies over in the tech sector, like the European Union and wouldn't want Britain to leave it. There is, of course, a reason for this over and above that general love of a centralised European superstate. That reason being that much of the London scene in this sector is, given the background of The City itself, involved in financial technology. And there's one specific rule that greatly aids such fintech within the EU:
None of Britain’s so-called unicorns, private companies with a valuation above $1bn (£710m), will support Britain leaving the EU, the Guardian can reveal.
Of the 14 companies on the list, five have come out as explicitly against Britain’s exit from the EU, while the rest either remained officially neutral or declined to comment on the matter.
Taavet Hinrikus, the co-founder of the financial technology (fintech) startupTransferWise, said: “We believe it would be crazy for the UK to leave the EU, both for businesses and consumers.”
Funding Circle, another fintech startup, said: “A successful, well-functioning Europe is crucial to a business like ours and we believe this is best achieved by remaining part of the EU.”
That rule being that if you have a licence to offer financial services in any one EU country then you, by definition, have a licence to offer that in every EU country. This is as opposed to the US system, where you must gain a new, and different, licence state by state.
So, yes, an obvious reason why fintech would like the EU.
We might not think that we want to make such a momentous decision as Brexit or not purely on the desires of one small section of the economy of course. But we could also observe that it's not in fact necessary for Britain to be in the EU to gain that benefit for British companies.
As an example, Facebook, still an American company we are pretty sure, started its money transfer network here in the EU, not in the US, on exactly that licencing basis. They gained a money transfer licence through their Irish subsidiary and were good to go across the EU. And of course, this is something possible for any company to do, unicorn, British based or not,, Britain in the EU or not.
There are indeed things that are useful and possibly even good about the EU. And one of the joys is that you don't actually have to be a member of the EU to take advantage of them.