by Jon Cano-Lopez, CEO, REaD Group
I’m becoming slightly irritated by the media debate around whether or not the Prime Minister has ‘done enough’ at this stage to set out what the next steps will be in negotiating Brexit. How is it in any way reasonable for the government to go into negotiations, having first told the public how they plan to do it? It seems that the less is said at this stage, the better our chance is of reaching the best possible deal with the EU. The British public needs to take a step back and allow Theresa May to do her job. But for those wondering how our industry will be affected over the course of Brexit negotiations and beyond, here are my thoughts:
Whilst the Prime Minister’s promise to ensure smooth implementation is encouraging, in my book I know of very few ‘smooth’ divorces. This is going to be a bumpy ride. However, the saving grace is that the majority of European countries still want to continue trading with the UK (even if they are reluctant to admit it), therefore it is not all doom and gloom.
It is simply not possible to leave the EU and remain part of the single market. However it will be possible to have trading agreements with individual EU member states as well as the rest of the world. In my view we are the world’s fifth largest economy ‘despite’ our membership of the EU and who wouldn’t want to do business with the world’s fifth largest economy? I suspect that even outside of the EU that Britain will be seen as the base of most European footprints. Brexit could, in fact, mean more business for British marketers as international companies rely on local knowledge and expertise in order to operate here.
Data talent pool
Whilst it is inevitable that immigration will fall following the vote to leave the EU, I suspect we will revert to times gone by when nationals from countries outside of the UK will simply apply to work here and be granted a position or not. I think a significant part of the vote to leave was due to a desire for numbers to be more aligned with infrastructure, and for Britain to be able to control that. A request based worker policy gives us that without disproportionately limiting the talent pool.
Companies that think that a detachment from the EU means that implementing GDPR is not a requirement are wrong in their assumptions. Clearly there will be a length of time whilst we are still part of the EU and their regulation will be governing. It is important to remember that the current governing legislation is really not fit for purpose. It is out of date and needs reforming. GDPR does this and, whilst still containing some highly ambiguous clauses, will move the industry forward in terms of consumer trust and confidence. My hope is that we will use GDPR as a template from which to build a data protection and processing framework that will be both globally applicable and world leading.