Responding to today's Government white paper on ‘The UK’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union’, Charlotte Holloway, Policy Director at techUK, commented:
“The Government’s white paper provided some welcome signs on its forward approach to negotiations, and the document itself is a reassuring signal that the Government will be open to dialogue in the period ahead. The recognition throughout that businesses need a stable and predictable regulatory environment is to be applauded. However, the paper doesn’t and can’t answer key questions that matter for businesses – those can only be addressed through the uncertain negotiation period ahead."
On Data Passporting
“The paper recognised that the stability of data transfers between the UK and the EU is important for many sectors. Indeed, data passporting is fundamentally pivotal to the future of the UK services economy – three quarters of the UK’s data flows are with EU countries. We repeat our call to the Government to make achieving an adequacy agreement with the EU a top priority in forthcoming negotiations.”
On Access to Talent
“Companies need more than words to show how they can continue to attract the brightest and best in the period ahead. 18% of the sector’s 3 million workers are foreign-born, with one-third of those from EU countries. The Government must provide further detail on how it will alleviate uncertainty on access to EU talent, particularly in light of the forthcoming restrictions to the Tier 2 skilled visa (for non-EU workers) which are set to bite from April.”
On New Opportunities for Tech Innovation
“The Government’s commitment to harness the best of digital technologies in the formulation of a new frictionless customs process is welcome – a clear opportunity to drive innovation and to create a new world-leading standard.”
On “No Deal” and Phasing Arrangements
“Finally, tech leaders will be highly sceptical at the restatement that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. Trade in digital services are not well covered under WTO rules, and the UK’s digital value chains are deeply integrated with those of other member states. 81% of digital sector exports are in services. Similarly, further detail would have been welcome on the Government’s hopes for new phasing arrangements. March 2019 is soon in business planning terms.”
To contact techUK on our Brexit work or for press queries, contact Charlotte Holloway and Alice Jackson.