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What startups should expect from the Brexit fallout

Some tips from Index Ventures.

Thomas Lohnes / Getty

When it comes to Brexit, the word of the moment is "uncertainty."

The actual length of time before the U.K. leaves the European Union is uncertain. The economic consequences are uncertain. It’s uncertain who will even lead the process by which the U.K. formally bails on the EU.

For startups and tech companies, the immediate impact of Brexit is similarly unclear. That’s why Index Ventures, a VC firm with extensive experience in Europe, put together a handy primer for its portfolio companies on what to look out for.

Index has invested in a number of Europe’s biggest startups — Skype, Soundcloud, BlaBlaCar, King — and offers some constructive advice on what to look out for, even if you’re not a startup or a tech employee.

We’ve embedded the slideshow below and pulled out a few of the most interesting bits from it:

  • London was previously the startup capital of choice in Europe. Index cautions that tech companies should look elsewhere for talent and office space as events proceed; think Dublin, Amsterdam or Berlin.
  • Index is advising that the most likely (but hardly guaranteed) outcome is that the EU will negotiate with the U.K. to allow the free movement of labor, if not necessarily the free movement of people. The worst-case scenario, however, is that the negotiations stall out before the exit is supposed to happen and the U.K. loses access to the all-important EU single market.
  • Though it might be more costly to do business in the U.K. because it’ll be harder to get other European talent, the flip side is that certain costs — property and currency, in particular — might go down.
  • In order to compensate for Brexit, the U.K. government might offer startups and other firms a bunch of carrots for opening offices in the country.

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