With all the doom and gloom surrounding our exit from the EU, let’s take a look at some of the more positive Brexit news that has so far come out of our impending departure from the single market.
1. Microsoft is Here to Stay
The Independent last week published a piece entitled Brexit: Microsoft is latest major company to threaten to pull business from the UK.
Microsoft’s government affairs manager Owen Larter recently said, “If all of a sudden there are huge import [tariffs] on server racks from China or from Eastern Europe, where a lot of them are actually assembled, that might change our investment decisions and perhaps we build out our data centres across other European countries,”
While this might hint at Microsoft departing from British shores, Larter released a follow-up statement to reassure us that the tech behemoth is sticking around: “[We’re] committed to the UK as it stands. There are some concerns that we have, that we need to see the UK getting right as part of the Brexit process. But if they do do that, then the technology digital industry won’t be affected as the finance industry is.
We’ll be OK and we could have quite a bright future for the tech sector in the UK.”
In fact, it seems more likely that a post-Brexit UK will enjoy lower tariffs because the EU currently has no trade agreement with China and actually places tariffs on Chinese imports.
2. The Pound Will Bounce Back
“[…] there’s an optimistic story to be told about the UK – [based on] the IMF’s new revisions for growth for 2017 a couple of weeks ago on the world economic outlook they think that growth will pick up in the UK.”
That’s according to economist and Barclays board member Dambisa Moyo.
There is undoubtedly a great deal of political and economic uncertainty around the world right now, and the value of the pound has been pretty volatile since last year’s referendum.
Nevertheless, we can clearly see Sterling beginning to stabilise as the Brexit negotiations likely stall – due in part to this year’s European elections – and the increasingly repetitive nature of Brexit-related news.
This also begs the question; is a cheap pound an entirely bad thing?
Let’s look at story #3 to find out…
3. Tourism is on the Rise
At the time of writing the pound’s value sits at €1.17, and $1.26.
This time last year it was around $1.54 and €1.34.
Those of us working and earning in GBP might not be too pleased to hear that our money is worth less internationally than it was last year, but it’s not all bad.
A cheaper pound acts as a strong incentive for increased tourism, with Visit Britain forecasting 38.1m overseas visitors in 2017 – an increase of 1.4m visitors from 2016.
Now I’m no accountant, but the importance of an additional £1.8bn of cashflow cannot be understated.
4. Data Could Become the UK’s Hottest Export
Looking back to our first story, Microsoft’s Owen Larter said “We’ve just opened data centres in the UK […] The UK is EU’s largest cloud market and it is set to double by 2019. That bright future will not be possible if we cannot transfer data into UK data centres,”
Bear in mind also that we will see the full introduction of the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation next year.
Without delving too deeply into the EU’s complex reforms, the GDPR introduces some increased short-term costs to businesses, such as having to employ or train Data Protection Agents to ensure organizational compliance.
Josh Kallmer, head of global policy at the Washington-based Information Technology Industry Council last year stated, “For some companies, access to the single market is the most important consideration – even though there are more significant regulatory restrictions. Whereas for other companies it could be their markets are more global, and [they want to do] their business from a jurisdiction that has fewer regulatory restrictions and fewer limitations on what they can sell to the rest of the world. So the UK becomes a more desirable option.”
There will likely be improvements to security and privacy as the new legislation caters to the ever-advancing technological world, but increased restrictions may drive greater interest to a post-Brexit Britain.
5. Proactivity Trumps Reactivity
Our closing point is not specifically a positive Brexit news story, and should serve more as a reminder.
We live in an incredibly reactive world.
The geopolitical and economic landscape can change at a moment’s notice based on little more than hearsay and conjecture.
We have seen the value of the pound swing up and down as the world reacts to comments made by various pundits and politicos.
Take a step back from the political posturing and media’s sensationalism, and focus on proactively ensuring your business can weather any storm.
Kent’s leading IT Support provider Select Technology can help protect your business by reviewing your existing IT and network setup to highlight inefficiencies or areas for improvement.
You don’t know what you don’t know, so call us today and take a step towards making your business Brexit-proof!