This site monitors progress, updates, and developments on European policies, regulations, and laws impacting tech and digital throughout the Brexit process. It also covers UK domestic digital strategy stemming from, and which aspires to succeed, European policy in the coming years.
It is critical for professionals, leaders, and policymakers to understand the impact that leaving the European Union will have on our work in the tech and digital sectors. There are implications for everything from data protection to privacy to accessibility to intermediary liability.
It is more important than ever before for those who will be impacted by these developments to organise, speak up, and represent our needs throughout the Brexit process and beyond. An informed understanding of the issues at hand is the key to those actions, and this site will provide the knowledge base you need.
Afterbrexit.tech is an entirely voluntary endeavour run by one woman (me) as a side project. It is not related to my employment and does not reflect the opinions of my employers. I receive no compensation or funding for the site or for the research which goes into it. If it does help you, you are welcome to buy me a coffee.
How this site came to be
The Brexit referendum of June 2016 left my industry facing an situation unprecedented in history: that of a young sector being forcibly withdrawn from the only legal framework it has ever known, while also facing the loss of the freedom of movement which made working and being employed in the sector possible, and without any replacement policies being proposed in its place.
The loss of the UK tech sector’s legal foundation is heightened by two additional longstanding vulnerabilities – a lack of professional organisation such as unions and industry bodies, and drastic undercounting of its size and impact due to outdated economic taxonomies. This means that at a time of catastrophic upheaval, the tech sector can neither stand up to be counted nor can count those numbers correctly. For those reasons, it is critically important for those working in and defending the sector to have a thorough knowledge of what issues we are dealing with, who is dealing with them, and what is happening with them. No one else can, or will, do it for them.
Following the June 2016 referendum, I concentrated my research on those European-derived policies, whether they were already the law of the land or still in the consultative phase. I did not find the answers I was looking for. In most cases, I found nothing. Ever the optimist, I did not want to believe that the lack of planning, research, and preparation by government for the post-Brexit digital economy was as drastic as my research suggested. But it was.
This site went live on 8 December 2016, using a .tech domain I got from a WordCamp sponsor, to serve as a public repository – or a notebook with many tabs, if you like – for my research.
In February 2017 I decided to take my concerns to my then-MP, who took them into the House of Commons on the day following the Westminster Bridge attack. You can see the video of what ensued here. The utter selfishness, arrogance, and straw-manning given in reply to her question from Liam Fox – an answer given in this naturalized citizen’s name – only served to fuel my determination to scrutinise government harder. This notebook, so to speak, grew some more tabs.
This site contains very few answers, nor does it aspire to provide them. It provides information. What you do with it is up to you.