Britain’s decision to leave the European Union sent shock waves of volatility through global financial markets, but Eric Schmidt is keeping his cool.
The executive chairman of Alphabet, parent company of Google, told an audience at the Viva Technology conference in Paris, France that he doesn’t foresee Brexit affecting his business in serious way, or forcing him to move employees from Britain to countries still in the European Union.”I think it’s unlikely Google will change our allocation … we have large operations in Ireland in Britain in France, in Germany … you never know, but it’d be hard for me to imagine we would make much of a change,” Schmidt said, according to a report on CNBC.
The decision of British voters last week to leave the European Union took place during a referendum that wasn’t legally binding, though leaders of the U.K.’s ruling conservative party have said they will respect the will of the voters and ultimately move to extricate their country from EU membership. But the details of what exactly that means remain unclear.
Some in the U.K. would like to keep the nation in the European Economic Area, which would allow British businesses to keep access to the single European market, but would force the country to accept immigrants from other EU countries, a dynamic that motivated much of the anger Brits felt toward the union.
A more thorough breakup would enable Parliament to set its own immigration limits but would imperil the trade relationship between the U.K. and the rest of Europe. It’s this second scenario that has business leaders in London most concerned, and it’s motivated executives from companies like Vodafone to consider moving their operations from London to the European continent.
Fortune has reached out to Google and will update the story if the company responds.