Nick Clegg praises EU as Facebook announced 10,000 new ‘metaverse’ jobs

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Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs (AFP/Getty Images)
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs (AFP/Getty Images)

Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was a passionate Remainer in the Brexit debate and is just as committed to Europe in his new role at Facebook.

The social media giant today announced plans to create 10,000 new jobs across the European Union over the next five years.

The recruitment drive is part of plans to build Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the “metaverse” — a virtual reality world where people can host meetings.

Clegg, who is now vice president of global affairs at Facebook, and fellow VP Javier Olivan said in a blog post announcing the plans: “Europeans will be shaping it right from the start.”

Clegg praised Germany’s biotech industry, Sweden’s adoption of digital payments, and Spain’s funding for startups, saying that Facebook’s announcement was a “vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent”.

Conspicuously absent was any mention of the UK. Facebook employs more than 2,700 people in the UK, with a major office in Euston.

The Standard recently reported Facebook had signed on to take another 310,000 sq ft in the area. A source close to the company said the UK remained an important market for Facebook.

As well as delivering more jobs to Europe, Clegg and Olivan used their blog post to make overtures to legislators.

“The EU also has an important role to play in shaping the new rules of the internet,” the pair wrote. “European policymakers are leading the way in helping to embed European values like free expression, privacy, transparency and the rights of individuals into the day-to-day workings of the internet.

“Facebook shares these values and we have taken considerable action over the years to uphold them.”

Clegg left politics in 2017 and joined Facebook a year later.

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