back to article Quick note: Brexit consequences for IT

Well, I'm not an economist and even less interested in politics - but UK exiting the EU is huge. I have several friends and acquaintances who have migrated to the UK in the last few years because there are more job opportunities, meritocracy and higher wages. This could all change very soon. But this is one aspect. The other one …

  1. Valerion

    European HQs

    I suspect Dublin will do very nicely out of all of this.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: European HQs

      Wait until the UK drops Corporation Tax and abolishes the limits on bank bonuses

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: European HQs

        So those voting against the London elite will have just made 'em a big gift?

        Also, while a country with just a few million people (less than London alone, usually), can drop taxes a lot, countries with tens of millions of citizens (and no oil/gas/gold/etc. to get easy money from), can't usually drop taxes too much without cutting expenses a lot too. Offering services to that number of people, with a large percentage of elderly ones, maybe a large number of unemployed people, has a huge cost.

        Ready to say goodbye to NHS, free schools, etc. etc. ?

        Sure, banks executives may stay there and live like pashas. The gain for those not so lucky?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: European HQs

          Those voting against a London Elite and hoping competition for menial jobs from EU citizens will be reduced (ignoring warnings from Labour that a lot of the legal protection for workers is EU related), are likely to find that big business and big banks will have no resistance in eroding the labour-rights further and replacing increasing numbers of workers with robots, while small business will not have much urge to promote higher minimum wages.

          Maybe the lesson will be that voting by parroting rag-papers and populist sound-bytes while ignoring experts makes you incredibly vulnerable to deception.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: European HQs

            Maybe the lesson will be that voting by parroting rag-papers and populist sound-bytes while ignoring experts makes you incredibly vulnerable to deception.

            That's a nice dream and I wish it were so. The media and corporates have been manipulating people for a long time, and are past masters at it. Will people learn? Only if the education system starts teaching them to "think" but we all see where they have been headed.

            As for "experts".... seems way too many get their info from Farcebook...

            Truth in posting: I'm not in the UK but the States and see much of this, if not all here.

      2. eurotyke

        Re: European HQs

        They are already deep in pooh due to lack of tax revenue, and you think this will help?

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: European HQs

      Some are already "legally" in Edinburgh in anticipation for that ... other... referendum. It is simply a matter of adding some muscle on the "legal skeleton crew" which is already there.

      Popcorn...

    3. energystar
      Holmes

      Wrong who think it's a 2 year issue.

      Business decisions are being taken now. Decisions already taken are being suspended. Assets already tagged are being frozen.

    4. Fazal Majid

      Re: European HQs

      Or Edinburgh post-scotxit. Or Amsterdam, where the majority speak excellent English.

  2. gr00001000

    Switzerland

    My hope is, we follow and are seen to be similar to the Switzerland model.

    We still have the vast city of London with its global outlook, Tech hub.

    The new government surely realise trade and commercial continuity are key and will keep many agreements in place. Its possible they even negociate a deal that keeps much of the EU policies as they are, after all, most MPs dont want to sever links with europe.

    Otherwise, Dublins going to get a second Celtic tiger revival.........

    1. Permidion

      Re: Switzerland

      I live in Switzerland,

      the situation is far from being nice and lovely: the relation with EU are complicated, any political agreement is a nightmare and there is little way of latitude for internal policies not going the same way as the EU.

      Please dont ever think not being in the EU is an easy path and will solve all problem, that's a complete utopia.

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Switzerland

      No breaking into Belgian telecoms then?

      That's one of the little pleasures Switzerland cannot afford.

    3. Cynical Observer
      Facepalm

      Re: Switzerland

      The new government surely realise trade and commercial continuity are key and will keep many agreements in place. Its possible they even negociate a deal that keeps much of the EU policies as they are, after all, most MPs dont want to sever links with europe.

      Phil Hammond (Foreign Secretary) addressed this at the weekend -

      “Here’s the rub: the fundamental dilemma at the heart of the Brexit position is that we will have to now make a decision about how much access to that single market we want and need to protect our economy and how much freedom of movement we are going to accept in order to buy it. Those who say, ‘No, they need us more than we need them. Don’t worry. They’ll allow us to have control of migration from the European Union while maintaining access to the single market’ are simply mistaken about the balance of power and the level of commitment to this agenda in Europe.

      “We will not be able to negotiate control of migration from the European Union and at the same time full access to the single market. There will have to be a trade-off, and that is essentially why the Prime Minister has made the decision he has because only a new Prime Minister can make the decision about what that trade-off will look like.”

      That's likely enough to have those who voted out based on a desire to reduce the number of people moving to the UK foaming at the mouth in fits of apoplexy. The irony of this - with a Brexit in place, the UK has no veto on Turkey’s accession but if a member of the Free Trade Area, it would be required to accept Turkish migrants.

      You can almost hear the synapses pop as those opposed to migration realise that they have discarded one of their trump cards.

      Ah well - more popcorn anyone?

    4. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: Switzerland

      "Its possible they even negociate a deal that keeps much of the EU policies as they are..."

      OK, so continued free movement of people, adherence to EU regulations, acceptance of EU decisions on data transfer etc. etc. And all without a seat at the table to influence things.

      So what the bloody hell was the decision to leave all about then?

      A protest against the government as I have seen reported? Xenophobia finally showing its hideous face? Just look at all the reports about abuse and racist graffiti to see that. Or was it all to do with the overweening egos and opportunism of leading members of the Brexit gang?

      I hope that the people that have inflicted this on my country will wake up and see this whole thing for what it is. Jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CHange

    Yes, things have changed, but how did they work in the past? All of the issues raised by Brexit used to be done differently BEFORE the EU treaties came into force.

    Immigration - I came to the UK from outside the EU on a work permit. Not the easiest route, but not impossible. If the UK need more skilled people (or cheaper labour...), they'll make more working visas available in similar ways to those used in the past.

    Wages/skills: this is down to supply and demand, and I suspect what the "anti-immigration" vote was all about. If both the supply and demand for something increase, the price remains the same... Enjoy your new economic recovery that looks just like the old recession...

    Services: with the reduction in the value of the pound, UK services are likely to be cheaper than EU alternatives. If the UK economy doesn't recover and the EU , those services remain cheap. This also applies to exporting as long as a significant part of the value add of the exported product happens in the UK.

    EU HQ's? Where do companies make their money - that's where the HQ's are likely to be located. Having CEO's say one thing (I'm looking at you Martin Sorrell) about the importance of EU markets when they contribute around 10% of your global market share vs almost 30% in the UK is a little disingenuous...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CHange

      "they'll make more working visas available "

      Except a fair portion of leavers think Brexit is about cutting immigration. They'll look askance at bringing in workers unless it directly affects them - so continue to welcome doctors and nurses and medical technicians while complaining that net immigration still isn't falling. And headline rates of work visas will go up even if it's only converting EU workers to visa-ed workers.

      And it's simpler for a business at a moment to bring in staff. EU national?, show the passport, job done, start Monday. Not EU? fill in forms for application. Wait, get visa, check visa then start work.

    2. tfb Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: CHange

      It is not the case that 'all the issues raised by Brexit used to be done differently before the EU treaties came info force' simply because there has been technological progress: before the EU treaties came into force the internet was in its infancy (indeed, depending on which treaties you mean, it did not exist at all), and you may have noticed that it has made a significant difference to the way we do business.

    3. Naselus

      Re: CHange

      "Yes, things have changed, but how did they work in the past?"

      Mostly by having massive periodic wars. Seriously, Europe has rarely managed to go 50 years without at least two of the French, Germans, British, Dutch, Italians and Spanish being at war with each other. Saying 'we always managed fine before the EU!' neglects to note that immediately before the EU, Germany's main import into Britain was (quite rapidly-moving) incendiary bombs.

      1. energystar
        Joke

        Germany's main import into Britain was incendiary bombs.

        Well, those will be again... Also antipersonnel to shoreline enforcing. [Maybe training those cold water sharks to bite old zodiacs ;) ]

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CHange

        History of Europe

        WAR

        WAR

        WAR

        WAR

        WAR

        Arguments about Bananas

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: CHange

          >War, war war.

          Unlike the rest of the world, of course.

      3. Atilla_the_bun

        Re: CHange

        Yes, what was that famous saying about ignoring the lessons of history only to repeat them. The beauty and horror of a referendum run in this manner in a democracy, you get to see the results of the (mostly) absent critical thinking skills. It brings to mind a parallel to that great Gandhi answer about what did he think about western civilization, only I would say education instead of civilization in the question. Same answer.

    4. Naselus

      Re: CHange

      "Where do companies make their money - that's where the HQ's are likely to be located"

      Yes, because almost all consumers in the whole of Europe only spend their money in Luxembourg..

    5. Yes Me Silver badge
      Facepalm

      EU HQs

      "Where do companies make their money - that's where the HQ's are likely to be located."

      Wrong. They are located where their (largely imaginary) contribution to the company's added-value attracts the lowest tax rate. But of course for the EU market, that is very likely to be somewhere in the EU. However, all this is old news. How is your MP going to vote in the Commons? If you want him/her to vote against Brexit, send an email. Now.

    6. strum Silver badge

      Re: CHange

      >I came to the UK from outside the EU on a work permit

      Yes, but a lot of the people I know from EU countries, came here to live - not just to work.

      They've settled down, had families, joined the Parent-Teacher Association. They'll go back to old country from time to time, to visit relatives, without having to worry about whether they can get in again.

      To attract such people, without any of the side-benefits, we're going to need to pay them a lot more than they could earn elsewhere.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CHange Re:strum

        "To attract such people, without any of the side-benefits, we're going to need to pay them a lot more than they could earn elsewhere."

        And this is probably the fundamental issue with the EU's freedom of movement - it creates a virtually unlimited supply of well educated labour that prices local, less skilled labour out of the market (or at least consigns them to wages/salaries that remain flat while other costs increase).

        The problem with this is that if you ever hold any democratic process to decide if you should stay in the EU, the displaced locals get upset and vote for you to leave the EU...

  4. Efros

    Not just a can

    This is not just a can of worms this is a Forties Field full of the wriggling little bastards, the unpicking of the last 43 years of legislation, agreements, trade deals etc etc is going to be an effing nightmare. Any prospect of the UK emerging out the other side as stronger and more prosperous is indicative of someone smoking something other than Old Holborn.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not just a can

      "This is not just a can of worms this is a Forties Field full of the wriggling little bastards, the unpicking of the last 43 years of legislation, agreements, trade deals etc etc is going to be an effing nightmare. Any prospect of the UK emerging out the other side as stronger and more prosperous is indicative of someone smoking something other than Old Holborn."

      Can of worms ? Nice way to put it. For whatever reason, and I'd here like to have someone explain to me what Cameron was smoking when he decided this, Cameron went to referendum.

      This is the effing Pandora box, nice and proper !

      Here is the thing:

      - the UK has pissed off the whole EU for 3+ decades, going back to as far as Thatcher, to get advantages no other country has had in the EU

      - very recently, this occured again

      - when you discuss with people, in many EU countries (like I'm doing part of my job), you see they are ALL pissed off about the UK, even more than they are about Greece

      The truth is, now, everyone in the EU wants the UK out, there is nothing to negociate, whatever the next PM is gonna ask will be ignored, and of course, he won't have the balls to activate article 50.

      This means the UK economy will go down a lot, due to the uncertainty, and the undecision countdown will at the end, as everyone in the EU plays the long game, result in a UK exit with massive prejudice.

      Well done, Cameron.

  5. NotBob

    Let me be the first to welcome our 51st state.

    The surveillance agencies should get along nicely.

    1. TDog

      Not just the 51st

      But states 51-->63 on a population basis

      1. energystar
        Joke

        Re: Not just the 51st

        Should ask Trump for permission about this... ;)

      2. Valheru

        Re: Not just the 51st

        Well we Yanks will just come to consider you the East Coast California.

  6. Black Road Dude

    Zero Immigration?

    On the Wages/skills point your argument seems to be suggesting all immigration could stop after brexit.

    I cant imagine this ever to be the case.

    Either we keep the free movement for the benefit of staying in the single market or somehow we end up in a situation where we have a points based system in which case it may be even more likely that demand is met via immigration as we would essentially be advertising to the world that we need XYZ skills rather than it being a free for all based on things other than the needs of the job market.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Zero Immigration?

      Immigration WILL stop after BrExit.

      Immigration in official statistics is calculated as NET Migration. People Leaving - People Coming.

      With the economy going south, headquarters of all major transnationals moving to a Eu country the idea that Net migration will become zero if not reverse direction is not that far fetched.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politically it would be suicide to sign up to any agreement that includes "free movement of people", so a points-based system looks the most likely. Of course the details of such a system can be adjusted such that the effect is much the same as the current arrangements (e.g. unrestricted 'internal' transfers), but in such a way that the headline numbers look good.

    Not unlike the way we pay 5% to finance our infrastructure projects rather than the current 1% bond rates, just to keep the numbers off the national balance sheet.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Point based system == No EEA

      Any ideas about point based system covering EEA nationals mean automatic ejection out of EEA.

      As one of the senior French Diplomats said about this one: "Brothers Grimm did not write that tale".

      1. Black Road Dude

        Re: Point based system == No EEA

        I agree that seem to be the case

        but NO EEA != Zero Immigration

        I agree that some (but I'm sure not all) of the leave voters did it to reduce immigration but it may be that "selling" the idea of immigration to the public would be much easier if you can publish the list of required workers based on market demands and lack of local talent with the points based system. This is what they have seen in Australia as immigration actually increased after the implementation as did public opinion as they can see the exact numbers and the reasoning behind it.

        Most of the campaigning was to do with immigration "control" and a points based system could show the government have control while making sure the numbers are what is needed by the economy not some random figure off the top of a politicians head.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Point based system == No EEA

          A message to all those who voted leave "to keep those dirty foreigners out and stop them taking jobs nobody in the UK wants to do and paying taxes."

          Looks like you are possibly going to get BoJo the clown imposed on you as PM. A man born in the US coming in and taking the top job.

          In fact, as a US born citizen, he qualifies to stand as US president, so maybe after he has finished fucking up the UK he can move across the Atlantic and try for a twofer.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Point based system == No EEA

            In fact, as a US born citizen, he qualifies to stand as US president, so maybe after he has finished fucking up the UK he can move across the Atlantic and try for a twofer.

            He is organizationally challenged in the hair department _AND_ vehemently anti-immigrant while being a descendant of an immigrant. The sole difference is that while Scotland officially apologized for The Donald in the House of Commons, Anatolia has not apologized for The Boris in the Turkish Parliament (*). That is probably yet to come. So the idea of him standing for a US president is not far off (**).

            (*)On another day, it would have been funny to listen to a person of Turkish descent threatening us with Turks coming. He should have done that properly: "My compatriots are coming".

            (**)We should get Larry Sanders (Bernie brother) to lead a Green, Labour and Liberal "Stop Boris" coalition to make the circus complete

  8. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Meritocracy in the UK?

    I'm sorry, but what countries are they moving from. From all I hear the UK seems to be rather bad in that regard. After all you recruit your leaders nearly exclusively from special private schools. Certain positions are even down right reserved for people who were born into the right families.

    Of course I can only see this from the outside, but at least from my German perspective it doesn't seem to be a particularly attractive place to move to.

  9. Drefsab_UK

    I personally see a brexit as a chance to restore some equality to the citizens.

    In the eu if you migrate in and want to start a business you can get a nice tax break to get you started.

    UK citizen wanting to start a business no tax break for you.

    EU citizen wanting to be a nurse, sure we will pay for accomidation for you, give you a wage pay all your exepenses.

    UK citizen wanting to be a nurse, cough up all the tuition fee's and get no help.

    There were many example like the above, personally I think the opertinities should have been available for all. But that wasn't the case and it caused a lot of resentment.

    As for imagration being the issue, I've got no issue with skilled people coming to and working hard in this country contributing as anyone else does. Its those that come cap in hand wanting to live off the state with never having any intention of working, that's not just imagrants by the way that also counts the UK nationals who do the same.

    The UK benfit system needs major reform, personally I think anyone on benifits should not get any money, sure get a roof over your head and food in your belly (food stamps), but no money to buy the latest iphone, booze, tobacco, holidays etc.. if you want that you have to earn it. That should apply to migrants and UK nationals.

    1. Florida1920 Silver badge

      @ Drefsab_UK

      If you were educated in the UK I think the nation has a much bigger problem than "imagrants" sucking up "benifits."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Jeez! As of 19:07, THREE people hit the 'Click here if you're a moron' button!

        Well, I guess they're honest.

  10. 8Ace

    What a shambles already ..

    Boris says:

    "EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU. British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and settle down,"

    German MP points out:

    "It will be possible, of course, but not for free - you have to see with Norway, with Switzerland, you have to pay a certain fee. And the per capita fee of Norway is exactly the same as what Britain is now paying into the EU. So there won't be any savings."

    FFS did any of these Leave morons think this through ????

    Reference BTW - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36637232

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: What a shambles already ..

      It will be possible, of course, but not for free - you have to see with Norway, with Switzerland, you have to pay a certain fee. And the per capita fee of Norway is exactly the same as what Britain is now paying into the EU. So there won't be any savings.

      When it was discovered that Tesco (and others) was charging suppliers if they wanted their products on Tesco's shelves there was quite rightly something of a rumpus. IIRC other forms of corporate arm - twisting have also come to light.

      So why is it that the EU can get away with more or less the same scam?

      1. hattivat

        Re: What a shambles already ..

        Welcome to the world of negotiations between countries which are not in union with each other. If you think this is a scam, wait until you see the Chinese terms.

      2. JLV Silver badge

        Re: What a shambles already ..

        "Discovered"??? By whom? It's been a well known fact of supermarket distribution for decades.

        Hope there won't be too many "unexpected discoveries" after Brexit, but right now I find it odd how gloomy y'all are. Surely a lot of this was common knowledge before, wasn't it? I mean, it'll either work out or not (I suspect the latter but not overwhelmingly so - the sky won't fall down) but none of these possible impacts should come as "news".

        News is when the actual outcomes and terms of EU affiliation start rolling in. And that's months away.

      3. JAB van Ree

        Re: What a shambles already ..

        The UK played at the same table by the same rules for over 30 years without a peep, now it by majority vote decides to leave the table and then complains about the rules?

    2. Black Road Dude

      Re: What a shambles already ..

      I was listening to the conversation with the German MP this morning on radio 4.

      He did say that yes but went on to say he thought we could be in the EEA and also have some control over immigration which seem to contradict what everyone else is saying.

      Also the amount we pay compared to what Norway pays seems to be quite different per head according to this article anyway.

      http://leavehq.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=157

      So maybe this guy was just misinformed.

      And yes the leave "morons" did think it through just as the remain "morons" did but came to a different conclusion.

      1. Peter Hawkins

        Re: What a shambles already ..

        "He did say that yes but went on to say he thought we could be in the EEA and also have some control over immigration which seem to contradict what everyone else is saying"

        Well that's fine if the negotiations are between the UK and this German MP, unfortunatley they aren't. Would have been nice though if Boris had thought to ask the Norwegians or Swiss or even the EU itself what it costs to access the EEA before the referendum

        1. ceebee

          Re: What a shambles already ..

          Should be easy for Boris..he could ask his Turkish father ..his Swiss mother ...or even the guys in the US .. where he has a passport besides his UK one.

          So most Leavers would want him OUT...ironic really...esp. as he is related to German royalty. (Yes they still exist!)

          Meanwhile sorting out IT laws ..copyright, patents ... can Sky show that Euro match and how many foreign players can ManU have ... is going to be fun to watch... will be like watching Basil Fawlty dealing with a smartphone!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a shambles already ..

        That calculation (badly laid out as it is) seems to be based on Norway's net contribution.

        Perhaps it should be done on gross contribution to see if that gets the same figure as the German. And then we could apply the expected UK benefits and see if that gives same as the Leave campaign did?

    3. hewbass

      Re: What a shambles already ..

      Yes they did, and the mendacious twats just didn't give a shit.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Through fiveEye, Snowden and repeated attempts from UK-politics to cash in on the privacy of its citizens, the UK was already considered a bit of a lapdog for the USA. I would think that many EU customers will become reluctant to put their data in the UK.

    On a positive note: Safe harbour may stay accepted in the UK more easily than in the EU, so small companies can save lots of ££££

  12. jonnieboysmith

    Almost sponsored petition for economic aid after the vote leave

    This petition if sponsored and enacted might help with some of the economic woes affecting our sector of the industry:-

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/143426/sponsors/q8ifmaOu0JfM58M3keaX

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure what to make of the news lately, it seems the four horsemen of the apocalypse are upon us as three of them voted leave.

    Regardless of our feelings about the referendum can we not just move on and have a little optimism for the future?

    Things are not going to change as they never change due to the political class doing whatever they want regardless of whatever party is in power so why is everyone worried?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Things are not going to change...

      ..as they never change due to the political class doing whatever they want regardless of whatever party is in power, so why is everyone worried?

      The point is that they have changed and the political class appears to be in terminal meltdown.

      And that's why they and those that depend on their grace and favour are not so much worried, as sh*tting themselves in utter panic.

  14. Infernoz Bronze badge
    WTF?

    The UK will be free to cut a lot of regulations and costs

    Regulations can have steep enforcement costs for business and government, so even if some EU import/export regulations apply for transfers to and from the EU, business could still save a lot from less regulation, especially for business with non-EU countries!

    The argument about freedom of movement of labour is disingenuous because Europe can't afford to do this if they want to trade with us, and we gain the ability to keep out the benefit tourist parasites which should allow a lot of savings which will affect business too!

  15. itzman
    Holmes

    Brexit itself is not the issue here.

    It's what a Britain, free of EU restrictions, chooses to do with it.

    Business will go where the conditions allow them to profit.

    A low pound, less restrictions on operations, tacit acceptance of unregulated hosting, access to a skilled labour force, easy work permits on demand for 'trusted' firms, could create a massive IT boom

    Or different arrangements could wreck it,

    Brexit, I hope, is done and dusted.

    The debate begins. What now?

  16. ATG

    We are exiting

    I have 3 companies with enough turnover to make it worthwhile and we will be moving hq as a minimum to Ireland or Holland

    Most of those I talk to with options are making plans to not be based in England if this farce concludes

    None of us are waiting for section 50 to be raised let alone any negotiations

  17. Boyan_StorPool

    Skills, investments, taxes

    Good points. I think the major impact is going to be people/skill related. In a world which is globally connected and innovation driven, the only way to be competitive is to have the best people on your team. Leaving the EU means losing a large pool of talented and motivated people. And "human capital" is the main thing that gives you an edge.

    Couple this with the UK position as the #1 choice when raising funding in Europe, plus UK being one of the best places for any leading IT EU startup to be (before they sail to the US) and you have a major innovation problem. And as we know it's education (think less people in UK universities), and know how that matter now. Everything else is cheaply produced in Asia, based on innovative blueprints from US, UK, etc.

    Lastly leaving the EU means increasing tax and legislation burden, so this will inevitably lead to lower economic growth and it's a downward spiral.

    Boyan, CEO StorPool Storage

    www.storpool.com

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