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Poll: Brexit Boils Down to Patience


August 19, 2016

As we in the United States are struggling to decide which candidate should lead the nation over the next four years in recent months, the United Kingdom has made an equally, if not more, disruptive political decision. On June 23, more than 70 percent of the British voting population decided the future of our neighbors across the pond. Brexit – a term created by combining Britain and exit – passed by a margin of only 4 percent with 52 percent of voters choosing to jump the EU ship.

Those that frequent the Transforming Network Infrastructure Community know that we value your opinion, and every month we ask for your insight in our community poll.  The most recently concluded poll, “Will Brexit affect Colocation demand in the UK,” illustrated some interesting results – let’s dive in.

Image via BigStock

Of the three options, two were tied with 25 percent of responses. The first, “Most companies will move their data centers”; the second, “UK Data Centers are still competitive – business will keep booming” illustrate both ends of the spectrum of belief and more precisely the split view of how Brexit will play out. While the British people have spoken, the prime minister plans to step down and the world watches; the nation isn’t actually obligated to follow the results of the vote.

However, if the UK were to make its exit from the EU, the firms seeing the most notable affect will be startups and telecoms. The move could take up to two years to take place, so this would not be overnight, but the question of the hour is in regard to regulation.

The UK is a voice in the EU calling for “light-touch tech regulation.” What this means is nations like Germany and France that have traditionally gone after U.S. companies over “perceived transgressions” will not have the same level of opposition, which would likely lead to greater regulation. Digging deeper into the data center, there is no adequacy agreement in place in terms of data flow and storage. If a decision were in place, the U.S. could be declared a safe landing zone for said data, and if Brexit comes to be British firms would need a similar resolution in place for firms to store data in the UK. Only time will tell, as the EU is in the process of clamping down on its privacy laws – General Data Protection Regulations.

I normally start with the top vote getter, but this month I’m saving the best for last. Half of respondents selected “why would anybody leave?” The simple truth is, as much as the pundits and talking heads are quick to say the sky is falling, nothing is written in stone. And, while the technology industry loves to stay ahead of the curve, it is probably imprudent to begin shifting operations. Be patient, and see what comes to fruition.  Don’t worry, there’s no chicken little running through the village – at least not yet.

I’m taking a wait and see approach, and I’d suggest the same for anyone in the industry following this story. In the meantime, here in the States, Crooked Hilary and Donald “Drumpf” should produce enough fodder to keep us occupied for the time being.

Don’t forget to let your voice be heard in this month’s poll!




Edited by Alicia Young

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