About this site

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.

Afterbrexit.tech is an entirely voluntary endeavour. 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 donate to support my work on open source privacy. I also consult with digital projects and businesses on the impact of Brexit on their future operations, and you can hire me to do so for yours.

For media enquiries, my name is Heather Burns and I’m @webdevlaw and my contact details are here.

How this site came to be

I created this site because no one would give me the answers to my questions, so I had to find them myself.
As a tech policy and regulation specialist, it is my professional responsibility to have an informed knowledge of the laws, policies, and proposals which shape the work of the digital sector and those who commit their careers to it.

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of June 2016 left my industry facing an situation unprecedented in history: that of a young sector being forcibly withdrawn from the only legal framework it has ever known, while also facing the loss of the freedom of movement which made working and being employed in the sector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professional organisation such as unions and industry bodies, and drastic undercounting of its size and impact due to outdated economic taxonomies.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.

Colophon

V2 of the site went live on the Digitale Pracht theme on 5 September 2017, and V3, which expands the research to the growing shape of domestic digital strategy, went live on GeneratePress on 1 January 2019.

The photo on the home page was taken by me from Portcullis House in June 2018. I liked the symbolism of Parliament under scaffolding. The Brexit icon is from the Noun Project.

Here’s the site’s privacy notice.

This site is made with love and coffee from Glasgow.