It is impossible to make effective and dependable predictions when the circumstances are undefined. The good news is that this does not mean that we cannot make plans to ensure the transition to leaving the EU is as risk free and profitable as possible for everyone engaged in email marketing. The first thing to do is work out what our negotiators’ options are. What assumptions I have made are justifiable I think, but no one knows of course.
The options in reverse order with regards disruption:
1/ Norwegian Option
This would appear to be the favoured route of most parties, presumably because it is the one which would cause the least disruption to both us and the EU. It is a ready-made solution where the foibles are well known. It has the added advantage of being achievable within the two-year time limit. One can see why the UK might go for it.
For email marketing companies and those selling online, it would be more or less transparent.
However nothing exists in a vacuum and the EU has certain pressures. A fuss free exit might not be what they feel best serves their needs.
2/ Other trading groups
We are currently members of the European Economic Area Agreement and there is no intent to leave. There is EFTA, as the Swiss/Turkey option is up there. Bilateral talks would allow us to consult with regards to new legislation. This route is not optimum for either side but still reasonable.
3/ Going down under
The EU will enter into negotiations on all trade agreements in the near future and the above alternatives might disappear. That leaves the Australian Option. It would require that the UK secure trade relations with the EU similar to those negotiated by the Australian government.
If all else fails we can knock on the door of the single market demanding access via the World Trade Organisation regulations.
In essence what options are available to negotiate on would depend on the attitude of the EU negotiators. The Norwegian Option might be a concession too far for them, given the fear of certain other EU countries pushing for their own leave referendum. For them it would not be the leap in the dark it was for us.
The other options have risks as well for the EU. We would always have the WTO rules to ensure access.
The UK cannot have more advantageous conditions of trading than the member states. That leads us to the one constant in all the options; compliance with the EU regulations. The GDPR will be a requirement, in exactly the same way as it would have been if we had not left the EU.
It is refreshing to know that the EU cannot block our trading with them. It can be obstructive though, something that some may feel it is expert at. But we are talking short term problems.
We already work in a market that ignores national boundaries to an extent. The threat to our trading is probably less than for most others. That is, as long as we comply with data protection regulations both current and planned, our email marketing lists are safe.