I gave a talk the other day to a room of cloud & tech service providers about what they should do to prepare for a no deal Brexit. Leaving the EU without a deal should not be possible as it would be unlawful, but the Prime Minister seems be indicating he is willing to break the law. Here is a summary of that talk.
How does no deal affect IT & cloud providers?
- Personal data flows to / from the EU could immediately become unlawful. Upon a no deal Brexit, the UK will become a “third country”. Transfers will be subject to a decision by the EU Commission that UK data laws are adequate. Even though the UK’s laws are aligned with GDPR, there is the issue of the Snooper’s Charter and GCHQ getting access to personal data. This is what killed off Safe Harbour. We may need our own Privacy Shield and that could take months.
- Servers, PCs and other hardware will likely to attract tariffs and may be delayed through customs. Even the government’s own forecasts in Yellowhammer suggest the Dover crossing could face delays of up to 2.5 days.
- Trouble attracting / retaining staff. EU citizens are leaving the UK and who can blame them. Of those trying to stay, many are having difficulty getting their “Settled Status” to remain here, even though they have been living here for years or even decades.
- Pound crashes making contracts more / less expensive. The pound dipped after the 2016 referendum which started the ball rolling on Brexit. Imagine what a no deal Brexit will do to the pound, with the loss of all the valuable trade deals, the customs delays and new tariffs.
What can you do to prepare?
- Set up EU / UK subsidiaries
- Move business closer to the customer
- Adjust prices
- Buy hardware in advance
- Adopt model clauses for personal data flows
- Get in touch with a lawyer to help you