techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on digital and tech policy

On Tuesday Parliament signalled their desire to avoid no-deal by backing an amendment to the Finance Bill that would limit the Government’s spending powers in a no-deal scenario. Whilst the vote was largely symbolic it does show that there is a majority in Parliament want to avoid no-deal at all costs. With the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement schedule for the 15th January it is hard to see how the PM gets it through.

Meanwhile, International Trade Secretary has been in Las Vegas for CES with a large British delegation. Whilst there he called on Britain to stop “wallowing” in misplaced fear over Brexit and instead celebrate our tech innovations and achievements. There certainly is a lot to be proud of, but there is no getting away from the fact that Brexit uncertainty looms like a dark cloud over businesses. If you want to catch up on all the latest from CES 2019, check out our blogs over on our website.

This week also saw the launch of the Government’s ten-year plan for the NHS. It should come as no surprise that technology is one of the main pillars with Matt Hancock now at the helm. Highlighting a wide range of priority areas such as digital access to services (including online GP consultations), increased genomic testing and cutting waste. The plan aims to make the NHS ‘fit for the future’ by combining the latest technology with a renewed push on prevention - to reduce deaths by 85,000 a year. Read more here.  

Productivity stats were also published this week showing very weak growth. You can get the full picture here. techUK has been banging the drum with others about the role tech can play in solving the productivity puzzle. This is not just about cutting edge technology but ensuring every business digitises – small and large, old and new and that digital skills are available to everyone. You can read our 2018 Budget submission to get an idea of some of tangible proposal we think would make a real difference.

techUK news and events

It has been a busy week for techUK with two Select Committee appearances. Our Deputy CEO was in front of the Science and Technology Select Committee to discuss Digital Government, you can watch the session here or read a summary here.

Meanwhile, yours truly was next door (literally) giving evidence to the Education Select Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution – you can catch up with the session here. It was a great opportunity to highlight techUK’s latest report exploring how our education system needs to change to prepare the next generation for the future of work. You can read the main findings from the report in an article that appeared in the Times Red Box here

Spaces for our Brit Twin event are filling up fast. Join us to unpack the National Infrastructure Commission's digital twin recommendation and explore how the tech sector can help to deliver this ambition, taking it beyond the pilot stage. For more information and to register click here.

Finally, techUK is pleased to announce that we are joining forces with the Analyst Observatory at the University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS) to provide tech companies with a new service package for scaling up and internationalising your businesses through the endorsement economy. Join us for the first free information session on the endorsement economy and the pitch to analysts on Tuesday, 29 January, 15:00-17:00, at techUK.

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