Europe is in turmoil after Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Those who now claim to know what will happen now – in outsourcing or in other areas – will make two big mistakes: First, they will show that they don’t understand what Brexit is. Brexit is, to use the words of author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a “black swan”: an unexpected event with largely unforeseeable consequences, just like 9/11 or the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy filing. Second, they will simply be wrong.
The result of the EU referendum will undoubtedly have a profound and long-lasting impact on the entire UK population and is likely to be something that is truly generational. Whether we voted for Remain or for Leave, however, Brits now have to assess where we are and how we maintain our position in the global economy.
Nearly two weeks after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (the ‘Brexit’), very little has become clear in terms of what this means for the country and the EU itself – and the sourcing and outsourcing space in the region - and even how and when the exit process will take place. Obviously, such a momentous transition should not be rushed through over-hastily; however, uncertainty can have a paralysing economic and commercial impact and pressure is already mounting on the British government to begin the formal exit process.
Like a huge minority of Britons I woke this morning deeply saddened by the news I had been dreading ever since the referendum on leaving the EU was announced: our four-decade-long participation in one of the most remarkable – and, perhaps, noble – political ventures in history will soon be coming to an end.
Levels of concern in business appear to be rising, as the date for the roll out of the new EU Data Protection regulations, known as GDPR, was announced (May 25, 2018, by the way). Social media were alight with comment and speculation and many people were questioning if a potential Brexit could impact the uptake of the regulations in the UK. The bottom line is, we have our own Data Protection Act, which will remain and it is not possible to rule out the adoption of best practice guidelines, regardless of any potential Brexit outcome.
Over the last month, British businesses have been bombarded with other people’s opinions. In the outsourcing industry, this is quite normal: everyone and their dog has a strong opinion on how outsourcing companies should and shouldn’t operate. But this time, we’re being told that our businesses are on the line because of a vote.