It is nearly two months since the UK voted to leave the EU. A great deal is still unknown about what this will mean for the UK. PARN is helping members consider the issues at an open event this week, so I thought I’d look at what Brexit could mean for the digital arena.
Data Protection (GDPR)
The pan-European General Data Protection Regulation is the data privacy and protection legislation which will be rolled out across the European Union by May 2018. As Article 50 has yet to be invoked, the UK is likely to still be part of the EU by then assuming it takes the suggested two years to leave, so we will need to abide by it. If the UK wants to work with EU countries, then it is likely that we will need to adopt similar practices. Professional bodies with members in EU countries will need to understand what the regulation means for the data of their members.
Single Digital Market
The Single Digital Market (SDM) is EU’s ambitious strategy to simplify the EU’s digital markets and to remove barriers to trade by creating a single market for all member states. Leaving the EU could mean the UK has less influence over the development of the SDM, which is still being shaped. How the UK will be able to interact with the SDM from outside the EU will also need to be established.
Uncertainty is likely to lead to an economic downturn according to some analysts. GFK market research reported a post-Brexit, sharp drop in consumer confidence. Challenging financial times can result in less income for professional bodies, which can restrict any digital transformation projects, which I know many organisations are undergoing.
There are some early signs that Brexit has had a negative impact on the jobs market, with a reduction in recruitment noted by the REC. However, the longer term implication could be the limitation of securing staff from inside the UK only, should the EU’s freedom of movement not continue post Brexit.
These are uncertain times. I know that many professional bodies are considering Brexit both for their own organisations but also helping their members to navigate the issue. We will have to watch this space as to what Brexit means for us all including our digital life.