Dr Cristina Chiva, Lecturer in EU Politics, said: “So far, European leaders have been holding their cards very close to their chest, urging calm and saying very little about what will happen next.
“Silence should not be mistaken for weakness, though. Brexit is an existential threat to the Union, which is why, in the weeks that follow the referendum, the 27 member states are likely to get together and prioritise the survival of the EU over domestic pressures from Eurosceptic movements.
“Calls for similar referenda in other member states will remain unheeded. If anything, European leaders will probably learn a valuable lesson from Brexit – that they should resist calls for a referendum, at all costs. Within this context, it is only by projecting a united front that the EU might survive in its current format, for better or for worse.”
Dr Aleksej Heinze, co-director of the Centre for Digital Business at Salford Business School, said: “Now that Britain has voted to leave the EU, what are the digital business opportunities for the UK’s digital direction? There are a couple of countries beyond Europe that offer potential priorities for digital trade partners.
“The most obvious option is the closer collaboration with the real Silicon Valley in the USA. North America is already dominating Digital Economy around the globe. Forging stronger ties with Mountain View, California could be a safe long-term option. Some US-based organisations such as Google already have their physical base in London.
“In Asia, Bangalore is becoming the Silicon Valley of India. With the population of India predicted to overtake China in the foreseeable future, re-invigorating trade links and striking digital investment and innovation deals could be one of the strategic moves.
“In Africa, Nigeria is investing into its intellectual capital and digital infrastructure. Building trade links and closer digital business relationships with the Nigerian community would also offer a strategic and potentially viable investment of energy for the Europe Free UK.
“As for European digital superpowers, Amsterdam is the 2016 European capital of innovation, so forging closer bilateral links with the Dutch can also be a fruitful long-term digital trade partner.
“As for the rest of European Union Europe, the UK will have to wait and see what the Digital Single Market decision is. A lobby group can be established and in a similar way to big businesses, lobbying can commence to influence the decision from the outside of the negotiation tables.”