Picking Up the Ball and Going Home Remains Worst Brexit Option

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament about the Brexit negotiations, Julian David, techUK’s CEO said:

“The Prime Minister is right to reaffirm her commitment to the proposals she set out in her Florence speech. The priority now must be securing the transition proposals she set out as quickly as possible. The UK’s tech sector needs clarity in order to continue to secure investment and deliver growth.

“Until then, businesses will be forced to plan for the ‘no deal’ scenario that remains a real possibility. Such an outcome would mean no agreement on key issues such as data flows, immigration and trade and would be deeply damaging for UK tech.

“Getting a deal and avoiding a cliff edge will require both the UK and the EU to work together and to compromise. It does not matter whose court the ball is in, simply picking it up and going home would be in no one’s interest.”

Commenting on the Government’s Customs Paper, Julian David, techUK’s CEO said:

“Getting our customs processes right post-Brexit is vital for the tech sector and its consumers. The Government’s paper is right to recognise the particular impact of delays and complex processes to ecommerce and other ‘just-in-time’ tech goods. The commitment to implementing more streamlined processes, including mutual recognition of Authorised Economic Operators is therefore welcome.

“However, building these streamlined processes will take time. Bilateral implementation of new technologies at the UK, French, Irish and every other EU 27 Member border is complex. Until the Government comes forward with a clear plan and technical specifications this work cannot begin, and the clock is ticking.

“While the Government is right to explore all possibilities, businesses need clarity about the most realistic outcome. Without further details it seems highly unlikely that the proposed “Customs Partnership” will be achievable. If that is the case, then Government should quickly focus its energies on ensuring other options are given the support they are needed to become operational when we leave the EU.”

Commenting on the Government’s Trade Paper, Julian David, techUK’s CEO, said:

“The Government’s Trade paper sets out a sensible approach for our future trading relationships. However, securing a good EU deal must remain a priority. The EU is the UK tech sector’s primary market and is a vital part of what makes the UK such a great place to start and grow a tech business.

“The Government must also work to provide more clarity on which current EU trade deals with other countries it will seek to maintain when we leave the EU, such as the recent CETA deal. The UK will have to convert these deals into bilateral agreements with the consent of those countries. Knowing which markets the UK will maintain access to immediately post-Brexit is crucial to companies understanding the impact it will have on their business.

“Finally, we welcome the clear commitment to leadership at a WTO level, in particular the commitment to remain part of the Government Procurement Agreement. This is vital if the UK is going to continue to improve and digitise our public services. The Government should also look to sign other WTO agreements, including the ICT Agreement in order to maintain strong leadership on tech and international trade.”


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