Following today's Queen's Speech, Antony Walker, Deputy CEO of techUK, commented on the new legislation announced:
"Powering the UK’s digital economy topped the government’s to do list in today’s Queen’s speech. This reflects the fact that digital is a fundamental enabler of so much that government wants to do”.
On the Digital Economy Bill, Walker added:
"We expect the Digital Economy Bill to contain a number of welcome proposals. If implemented correctly, they could help drive the UK’s tech success. Reducing network deployment costs is really important for delivering world-class digital connectivity for all. We welcome the reforms to the Electronics Communications Code and other planning reforms. However, proposals to give Ofcom more powers will require careful consideration.
“Ongoing support for digital industries across the UK will be welcomed by tech companies. Digital start-ups and scale-ups are thriving across the UK. It is essential that we support that growth – in the North and beyond. The Bill’s focus on use of data by Government to deliver better public services and produce world-leading research and statistics is excellent. A comprehensive strategy to develop the UK’s public data architecture will give real competitive advantage to the UK economy. It will drive performance and efficiency in the delivery of public services, and enable better policy design and delivery from the outset. We encourage government to maintain a strong open dialogue with industry to ensure we get the details right.
“In looking to revise aspects of the copyright regime, it is essential that proposals are technically feasible.”
On the Modern Transport Bill, Walker said:
"There are huge opportunities to use technology to improve travel and transport. We are at the start of a new revolution in transportation and it is essential that UK businesses are at the forefront of that change – whether it is smart road networks, connected and autonomous vehicles, drones or spaceplanes. The UK has a strong track record in driverless car pilots in Bristol, Milton Keynes and elsewhere. It’s time we put our foot to the accelerator. We need to unlock a new wave of investment. Getting the regulatory framework right will be fundamental to achieving leadership in what will be a huge global market.”
On the carry-over of the Investigatory Powers Bill, he said:
"Rapid change in the digital world clearly brings with it new security challenges and tech companies take their security responsibilities incredibly seriously. With the new Investigatory Powers Bill before Parliament, the UK has an opportunity to show global leadership in setting out a clear legal framework. But government must listen to the serious concerns raised by the UK’s tech businesses to achieve this ambition.”
For press queries contact. For further details on techUK's policy work on these areas contact Charlotte Holloway.