What about the EU?

In the aftermath of the vote, there are some instant comments around in the IT sector as elsewhere. Outsell, for example, have mailed an analysis for the information industry (though not related to our IT analysts about whom more anon, perhaps).

A couple I know a little about.

First: research and development will shortly lose access to a significant source of funding, especially for pre-market development; and to the wide-ranging academic and industrial collaboration that the EU research programmes are intended to – and do – foster. World-leading many of our research centres undoubtedly are; our IT provider companies less so.

Second: data protection. Let’s take EU-wide data protection standards (unified, more or less effective and collaboratively developed) to stand for the EU regulations which are somehow supposed to cease to trouble UK industry. Will UK companies have to (probably separately) demonstrate their compliance to EU data protection standards before they can do business? Or will the UK have to set up something like the UK Safe Harbor arrangement, before ditto? One or the other; and surely more of a burden, more of a cost, than at present when just operating from the UK provides de jure compliance.

Oh, and a postscript. In today’s daily paper there’s a splash advert from one of the mobile phone companies: “Travel to Europe with no roaming charges!” We all know that’s the result of a European negotation and agreement with the providers, and a bit of big stick from the regulators; it’s not the provider’s initiative. Watch out for their re-introduction, somewhere down the line. Will the UK have the independent clout to keep them at bay? Will Europe care? Not a chance!

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3 responses to “What about the EU?

  1. I think the mobile providers will be reluctant to reintroduce roaming charges – they would surely have to reach a cartel agreement in order to do so otherwise whoever went first would just go bust! I was strongly pro Europe in the referendum, but now think we should avoid another ‘fear campaign’!

    Lots of the agreements we have within the eu can surely be maintained and this may apply to compliance with data protection rules, for example?

    • You may be right about the mobile providers; but time will tell.
      More importantly: maybe the agreements we have been part of within the EU can be maintained in some form. But my point is that they will no longer be agreements within the EU which we are automatically party to. They will be agreements between the UK and the (separate) EU, all of which will now have to be renegotiated (quite possibly not to our advantage – the EU leadership has already said this is not an amicable divorce) and all of which will result in more red tape not less – because businesses trading in Europe will have to comply both to UK standards and separately to EU standards over which we have now no control. As soon as Article 50 is triggered, we are excluded from all internal EU policy setting. In data protection, however closely aligned our DP rules remain, we will surely have to be treated as (for example) is the US with its Safe Harbor arrangements – external, but required to comply in order to trade.
      Not a fear campaign; it never was, although Leave always tarred it as such. The realism is already setting in. We have to be clear about outcomes, in order to make the best of what I’m sure we agree is in fact a bad job.

  2. Pingback: Frost & Sullivan on Brexit | ITasITis

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