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Brexit British and EU flags

Brexit – what do we know now that we didn’t then?

Neil KokemullerNeil Kokemuller
September 22, 2016

One of the biggest things we’ve learned about Brexit is that UK officials are in no hurry to formalize their exit from the European Union.

Companies that target or attract buyers from Europe should pay close attention to the developments of the forthcoming withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Understanding how this process impacts European economies, and your potential customers, improves your abilities to target people through e-commerce.

The following are examples of things we know now about the implications of Brexit that weren’t as clear at the time of the historic vote on June 23rd of this year.

Business and Employment Uncertainty Remain

At the time of the Brexit vote, a primary concern was uncertainty about how the decision would impact business stability and employment in the United Kingdom. Organizational studies conducted by Willis Towers Watson during July and recently released, illustrate that these concerns remain.

One of the most concerning statistics in the survey was that 76% of employers have concerns about the impact of Brexit on their workforce. About half of respondents worried about impacts on employee engagement, and that Brexit would cause serious business disruptions or delays.

The concerns expressed in this survey should influence the business decisions for anyone conducting business with companies in the UK, or that cater to UK consumers.

Trade Implications are Significant

Britain will soon officially notify the European Council of its withdrawal from the European Union. At that point, it is unclear exactly how UK trade with EU nations and trade partners of the Union will be affected.

However, the UK government and its businesses are somewhat at the mercy of the remaining EU members as to the level of trade freedom it retains. In addition to potential restrictions in trade with other Union countries, the UK faces the real possibility of losing access to formal goods and services trade agreements the Union has with 40 other countries.

Time for Negotiations Remains

Until the UK makes its formal declaration of separation from the European Union, it has time to negotiate with other members. British officials have indicated they are in no rush to complete this formal step prior to the end of the year.

In the remaining months, UK officials will attempt to negotiate economic and trade terms with the European Union. If EU members desire to retain favorable trade conditions with Britain, broader economic impacts may be mitigated. However, if trade terms come out less favorably for Britain, it could adversely affect economies in the UK, the EU, and perhaps the world.

Industry-Specific Impacts Could Vary

Different industries may feel the impacts of Brexit differently. The growing online gaming sector could take a serious hit, for instance. The UK exit from the Union also means Gibraltar would no longer by a member. Gibraltar is a major hub for gaming companies that have been thriving in the EU. Similar legal considerations could impact the industry influence from Brexit.


E-commerce providers in the UK or Europe, or that interact with buyers in European countries, should follow Brexit negotiations closely. Favorable trade outcomes could mean your ability to get paid as eSellers is only slight affected by the economic ripple effects of this move.

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