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Microsoft Businesses Cloud EU United Kingdom

Microsoft May Halt the Expansion of a UK Datacenter Due To Brexit (onmsft.com) 167

On Monday, Microsoft hosted an online event to discuss the impact of the UK's departure from the European Union on the tech industry. The company currently has two large datacentres in the UK, and it is expanding those in response to vigorous demand for cloud services. But Brexit could throw a spanner in the works. From a report: Microsoft's UK Government Affairs Manager Owen Larter said, "We're really keen to avoid import tariffs on any hardware. Going back to the datacenter example, we're looking to build out our datacenters at a pretty strong lick in the UK, because the market is doing very well. If all of a sudden there are huge import [tariffs] on server racks from China or from eastern Europe, where a lot of them are actually assembled, that might change our investment decisions and perhaps we build out our datacenters across other European countries." Simply put, if they cannot build in Britain, then they will build surrounding it. Currently, the data is shared freely between the EU countries without any issues. This is because they all have similar security between them. However, if the UK leaves the EU, then this could cause even more issues for Microsoft.
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Microsoft May Halt the Expansion of a UK Datacenter Due To Brexit

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  • This is silly. The UK is not proposing putting tariffs on anything - part of the argument for Brexit (which I voted against) is that the UK could have more free trade deals with everyone else and avoid EU tariffs. They want to do a free trade deal with China for example. Further, if the UK was even considering tariffs to protect its industries, why would it propose putting tariffs on industries (making server racks) that don't even exist? It would make slightly more 'sense' to put tariffs on food or gas tur

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

      This is silly. The UK is not proposing putting tariffs on anything - part of the argument for Brexit (which I voted against) is that the UK could have more free trade deals with everyone else and avoid EU tariffs.

      Agree, the chances on the tariffs for goods coming from China being higher are very low. However the data sharing issue is real, currently a data-centre in the UK can store data for EU companies without any issue. I hope that the EU will allow this to continue, as in many cases it will benefit them, but they could decide to be difficult.

  • Microsoft are not buying Hardware made in Europe, it is made in China, Malaysia, Korea and Japan. As a result they are already paying tariffs if any exist, that won't change outside of the EU.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      Actually there is quite a bit of assembly happening in eastern European countries these days. The labor is cheap and being inside the EU makes it advantageous for customers. They bulk import finished parts (boards, drives, etc) and build the systems there. I have several customers in manufacturing that have or are planning facilities over there.
  • US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and India are not in the EU, but they aren't being punished.

    (PS - I don't think MS has any data centers in New Zealand, else I would I have listed them with Australia)

    • US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and India are not in the EU, but they aren't being punished.

      Yeah... if only you could build a factory in the US and get unfettered access to a single market of 300 million consumers... or a data-centre in India and hire well-trained workers at near-third-world wages...

      Plus, those countries haven't been building their economic infrastructure around the EU single market & customs union for the last 40 years.

  • Another entity that wants to keep them in the EU than having to deal with an independent Britain.

  • Perhaps this Brexit caper isn't so bad after all!

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