Microsoft had wanted to set up its datacentres in the UK so that European data did not have to cross the pond to the US. This was because the EU was a little worried about US spooks spying in European citizens and wanted all data to stay here.
However, with the UK outside the EU too, the Microsoft set up its databases in the UK is completely pointless.
Microsoft’s UK Government Affairs Manager Owen Larter spoke in the What Brexit Means for Tech webinar expressing that the Redmond giant is committed to their branches in the UK. At least, for now.
But it is getting more worried that if Britain leaves the European single market is that import tariffs will rise and if the tariffs were to become an issue, Microsoft might pull their future plans for Britain’s two datacentres.
“We’re really keen to avoid import tariffs on any hardware. Going back to the datacenter example, we’re looking to build out our datacentres at a pretty strong lick in the UK, because the market is doing very well… So if the UK puts tariffs on Chinese server racks or eastern Europe, where a lot of them are actually assembled, that might change our investment decisions and perhaps we build out our datacentres across other European countries.”
If Vole cannot build in Britain, then they will build surrounding it.
Ironically one upside to the Brexit for Microsoft is the ability to bring in foreign employees into the UK for work.
“We’ve really struggled internally at Microsoft sometimes to bring people over from the US, from China, from India. Even just on a month or by week basis, because the restrictions on immigration from outside the EU have been so severe, because we [the UK] couldn’t control immigration from inside the EU and we were conscious about the numbers.”
We say ironic because many people thought they were voting Brexit to keep foreign workers out of the UK. This means Vole is confident they can bring many more in.