The Daily Telegraph - Business

Cummings ready to use no-deal Brexit as a chance to create trillion-dollar tech giants

- By James Cook and Hannah Boland

THE Prime Minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings has told civil servants he is examining ways to help the UK build $1 trillion (£775bn) tech giants.

Mr Cummings emailed employees of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this week and told them that he is considerin­g “ways we can build [$1 trillion] tech companies,” according to a report by Business Insider.

A spokesman for the DCMS did not respond to a request for comment.

The UK has so far failed to build large, public technology companies at the same scale as American giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google, which have all reached valuations of $1 trillion. A no-deal Brexit could allow the Government to give state aid to British technology businesses, helping them

grow through incentives as well as taxpayer funding. Mr Cummings is believed to have been a vocal advocate of the Government’s recent $500m investment into struggling satellite busi- ness OneWeb.

However, Dom Hallas, the executive director of start-up lobbying group Coadec, warned that state aid isn’t a simple solution to creating tech giants.

“The truth is that building a national tech giant is what politician­s and policymake­rs around the world have been interested in for many years,” he said. “The challenge is that often the policies don’t match the rhetoric.”

“Many in the tech community are sceptical that a huge influx of state aid will fix the problem – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to try to map out what conditions a company of that scale would need to thrive in the UK.”

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