techUK Responds to Publication of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Commenting on the European Union (Withdrawal Bill) previously known as the “Great Repeal Bill”, techUK Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said:

“UK tech can be the growth engine of the UK economy post-Brexit. However, for that to happen tech businesses need a predictable regulatory framework in place on day one when the UK leaves the EU. The Repeal Bill is a step forward but many important questions remain unanswered.

“Businesses will need to understand far more about the detail of how specific EU laws will be converted to the UK statute book. Issues such as mergers and acquisition rules, measures around public procurement, and technical changes to reporting processes, will all have an impact on how businesses operate, requiring them to adapt their own processes and procedures. We cannot wait until the end of the Repeal Bill’s passage through Parliament for information on how previous EU rules will work, how regulators will be resourced and what new powers they will have.

“We are also disappointed that the Bill does not set out clear measures for how ‘soft rules’, such as Commission guidance surrounding the interpretation of current EU law, will be incorporated. Guaranteeing legal opinions of the European Court of Justice are retained in Common Law is important, but ensuring that UK regulators taking on new functions interpret the law in the same way as EU is equally crucial to a smooth transition to a post-Brexit system.”

“The Government must also set out how it will respond to new EU legislation post-Brexit. Businesses want to understand how unnecessary regulatory divergence will be avoided that would create new barriers to trade for all businesses, including the tech sector.”

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