BARCELONA -- The UK decided to leave the European Union in a landmark vote conducted June 23. Despite last-minute appeals to remain from leaders in the UK, Europe, and elsewhere around the world, British citizens voted 51.9 % to 48.1% in favor of "Brexit," as leaving the EU became known. In the wake of the vote, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation, which will take effect in October.
Most of the business and tech communities in the UK supported the "Remain" campaign, as did well-respected academics, artists, politicians, and scientists. Still, many voters saw the EU as a source of unwanted immigration and burdensome regulations, and considered it a costly club to be a member of.
While it will take at least two years for the UK to formally leave the EU, consequences of the Brexit vote were felt immediately in financial markets, and the tech community can expect to face considerable challenges in the months and years ahead.
The next steps for the UK and EU involve working out what Hollywood stars might call a "conscious uncoupling." One option for the UK could be a membership in the European Economic Area (known as the Norway option). But Brexit supporters will probably reject that option, since it grants EU citizens the same rights to move to the UK -- one of the main arguments used for leaving the block.
Many EU leaders, including the President of the European Commission, have shown their disappointment, and some asked the UK to leave immediately, saying that there will be no negotiations. As the drama unfolds, here are eight ways Brexit will affect the tech sector -- and the enterprises that rely on technology for their businesses (read: all of us).
Once you've reviewed the anticipated effects, tell us your thoughts in the comments section below. Are there ways in which Brexit could benefit tech companies? What other potentially negative results do you envision? How will the vote influence your company's decisions about doing business in the UK?