Brexit or the United Kingdom exiting the European Union was widely expected to flip, but instead it surprised markets and business alike globally by narrowly passing. The UK’s pound and the Euro were hit significantly after this unexpected turn of events. A survey of the UK’s tech workers by Juniper Research has found that 65 percent think Brexit will have a negative impact on the global tech industry. Seven in ten of those who predict a negative outcome for tech also believe it would be harder for UK tech firms to attract and employ individuals from EU countries.
If recent history is any guide, Brexit-driven currency moves will likely cost tech giants Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle and Google-parent Alphabet hundreds of millions in quarterly revenue.
The Brexit news helped send the price of Apple’s shares downward by 2.8 percent, from an already low valuation hovering around $96 over the past week to close at $93.40 today.
The overall impact is sharply negative and looks set to worsen in the wake of Brexit, especially for those firms with large operations in the U.K. All the major tech stocks were down 2%-4% Friday.
Apple operates its primary European headquarters in Cork, Ireland, but does have offices in the UK, including a corporate office and R&D center in Cambridge the company set up in late 2014. In job postings, Apple has described its Cambridge office as including “a team of highly talented software engineers and speech scientists [working] to expand the capabilities of Siri.”
Outside of the UK, Apple conducts business across EU member states as well as countries such as Switzerland, Norway and Finland who are not EU members but do have close associations with the EU. That will likely make an independent UK familiar territory for Apple, which has done business in Europe for many years prior to the establishment of the EU.
In a nutshell, things are not looking good for business in the European region.