When Brexit and Web Design Come Together
As a design agency, the issues surrounding Brexit and web design have been at the forefront of our minds. And we’ve found we’re not alone in pondering our Brexit future; our European designer neighbours are also thinking about Brexit and web design, and the impact it is already having on their business.
For UK-based designers, the low pound allows clients outside the UK to hire us far cheaper than before, which is great for them, but not so great for us. On the flip side, another view on the weak pound is that it will lead to widespread inflation and the need to focus more on foreign customers over UK customers, which can open up new possibilities and new collaborations.
And, when it comes to web design behind the scenes, the seeds of change are slowly emerging there too. Take cookies as an example: you’ll notice that websites are tracked by cookies, but did you know it was the EU who brought in the legislation for all European websites to ensure that each and every visitor to EU sites were aware they were being tracked by cookies? That law may well disappear when we leave the EU, leaving visitors unaware that they are being tracked by cookies.
Website hosting may also be affected as, at the moment, EU web citizens’ data is protected by EU law, but when Brexit happens, will the UK still have these protection rights or will we, as a country, be charged server space? The way websites hold data and privacy is bound to be affected, but at the moment no one knows for sure what the ramifications will be.
The EU design registration law
The EU design registration law is another consideration, as it helps designers protect their work from infringement of copyright – but will we still be able to rely on this right with Brexit? Again, no one is sure. For now though nothing changes, and even if we have to move from the EU design registration law, there are alternatives such as the UK’s Registered Designs Act 1949.
When it comes to Brexit and web design, whispers in the design community have also centered on whether companies – both large and small – will stay in the UK or look to move into Europe. Our design and technology scene is amongst the best in the world – vibrant, modern and in touch with all the latest design and tech developments – so we don’t think that these whispers will become anything more solid; we’ll still keep that innovative edge! Design agencies will continue to work with companies both here in the UK and abroad. And in terms of business, it’s heartening to see positive reports – such as this recent article from The Guardian – that companies such as Nissan and Hitachi (who operate in the North East and employ thousands of people) are set to stay put post-Brexit.
Design has a very open, international flavour and collaborations within the EU are popular so it’s unlikely that our EU neighbours will view the industry as unavailable for those collaborations or hire. Whilst the way we design may not change due to Brexit, what we create and how we create may, but in our creative world, change is always welcome and we’ll always channel any shifts with flair.
Diversity in talent
Pre-Brexit, we enjoyed the freedom to hire non-British Europeans with relative ease. We were able to utilise their talent; the diversity and different perspectives they offered, (which is particularly apt in the world of design). Some fear that Brexit will close these doors, but hiring will still happen, just with a slightly different process!
The digital single market
Another crucial consideration is our role in the discussions on the proposed ‘digital single market. The aim? To make the EU’s digital world a seamless, level marketplace where consumers can buy and sell with ease. In turn, this allows Europe’s economy the opportunity to take full advantage of digitalisation. When we leave, what becomes of our role here? For some, the answer is that we’ll be on the outside, looking in, but we’re confident it won’t come to that as the digital market strategy aims to set out fair rules for e-commerce across the whole of Europe.
Will Brexit even happen?
Developments surrounding Brexit are constantly changing and many are now questioning if it will actually happen. A recent news article by The Independent refers to a new poll which suggests that the majority of the UK now wants to stay in the EU (pointedly, this includes a vast majority of voters who voted ‘out’). Now that is interesting! As is the latest High Court judgment that states Theresa May cannot simply bypass parliament to use the Royal Prerogative to invoke the Article 50 notice (that would allow us to leave the EU) without involving MPs and peers. For now, it seems, that our Brexit future is uncertain…
A resourceful approach
So, what can we do? Although Theresa May has stated that ‘Brexit means Brexit’, in light of recent news, our Brexit future still seems uncertain. As designers, we’ll continue to do what we do best whether Brexit happens or not… We’ll continue using our talent to inform and inspire people about the possibilities good design can create, (alongside offering accessible collaborations that can span across the EU and beyond). We may need to rethink how we offer our services when it comes to Brexit and web design, but if we remain resourceful and innovative, we’ll stay ahead. Our passion and ideas will keep people interested – and create the results they need when they want to brand and promote their business.
When it comes to Brexit and web design, we’re ready!