As Estonia commence nationwide events this week to celebrate the 102nd anniversary of their independence, e-Residency, the Government of Estonia’s pioneering digital ID initiative, today announce a sixfold growth in UK e-Resident applications since the Brexit referendum. Since the end of 2016, 2,793 British companies have become e-Residents, increasing 554% since the figure in 2016, with the total now at 3,297. This figure surpasses the total amount of jobs lost because of Brexit in the whole of Northern Ireland.
At -21.6, the FSB’s Small Business Index (SBI) is now at its lowest since 2011, when the UK officially slumped into a double-dip recession. This is mostly because of the Brexit fallout, and companies and entrepreneurs can safeguard themselves from the detrimental trade effects of Brexit by becoming a digital resident of Estonia, or e-Resident. British companies can become an e-Resident by registering online, after which they will be audited and if successful will receive an e-Resident card in the post.
By becoming an e-Resident, British businesses can be safe in the knowledge that they will be able to do business with their EU-based partners until trading arrangements have been made. Whilst Estonia celebrate their independence from the Soviet Union this week, the Government of Estonia and e-Residency call for other countries to adopt digital ID for citizens who want to expand their professional capabilities as we progress into this new decade.
Ott Vatter, Managing Director of the e-Residency programme, said: “Britain’s business community needs certainty whilst the UK government negotiates trade agreements with the EU this year. Companies are still so unsure about the future of their organisations. In fact, we found that over a third of UK business owners are considering moving themselves or their companies out of the UK because of Brexit.
“We are proud to provide the support that UK businesses and entrepreneurs need to grow and expand their business operations post-Brexit. Digital ID and digital residency will be the next frontier in the way the public sector interacts with its citizens and the wider world, and Estonia is at the forefront of this digital revolution.”