Commenting on the Department for Exiting the European Union’s proposals for the Brexit transition or implementation period, Antony Walker, deputy CEO said:
“These proposals would help to provide further clarity to business. The UK Government is right to say that the length of transition should be based on how long it will take to implement new post-Brexit processes, not arbitrary dates. Building processes such as new customs systems will take time and cannot be rushed without creating new risks. The final length of the transition must be based on evidence, not on political expediency. However, we remain sceptical that a period of around two years is long enough to deliver the complex changes needed to properly deliver Brexit.
“techUK welcomes the UK Government’s position that UK experts and regulators should be able to continue to engage in EU policy making during the transition process. It is critical that the UK has a proper say in rules that will affect UK businesses. As the biggest tech sector in Europe, UK expertise in issues such as data protection and telecoms regulation are rightly recognised as valuable to the whole of the European tech economy.
“The proposals also give further clarification around EU bilateral agreements with third countries. Making absolutely clear that the UK will remain within the EU/ US Privacy Shield and wider EU data protection regime is important to ensure that there is no cliff edge to free flows of data between the UK, EU and the USA in March 2019.
“Tech is at the cutting-edge of innovation and cannot wait around for two years of further uncertainty. We hope that the UK and the EU will now quickly agree the terms of the transition period so that businesses can focus on the job of building the economy of tomorrow.”