Tech sector leaders welcome Brexit trade deal as the beginning of a new phase in the UK-EU relationship
Following announcements from the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that a deal on the future trading relationship between the UK and EU has been reached CEO of techUK Julian David and Director General of DIGITAL EUROPE Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl have welcomed the conclusion of a deal as the beginning of new phase in the long standing UK-EU relationship.
The EU and UK tech sectors are highly interconnected, with the latest figures showing the trade in telecommunications, computer and information services between the UK and EU accounted for £15.5bn in 2019, while the European tech sector, including the UK, is set to receive a record $41bn of investment in 2020.
The deal announced today will provide clarity over the new trading terms and build confidence and trust so that additional agreements on data adequacy and financial equivalence can be reached to allow UK and EU based technology companies to get on with the vital work of supporting the economic recovery effort across the continent.
Julian David CEO of techUK said:
Today’s announcement marks the end of trade negotiations but the beginning of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. While we wait to see the finer details, a deal will provide clarity on the terms of trade from 1 January 2021, helping businesses prepare for the end of the transition period. It will also support trust and confidence between the two sides so that any outstanding issues, such vital agreements on data adequacy and financial equivalence, can be resolved at speed.
However the deal achieved today will go far beyond the text on the page, this marks a new phase in the UK-EU relationship since the referendum in 2016.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown how interconnected the world is and the vital importance of international supply chains and cross border working to ensuring shelves are stocked, families and colleagues kept in contact and the best and brightest are supported to develop and deliver vaccines.
As the UK seeks to build on this deal, negotiate new trade agreements with other partners and develop our role in multilateral institutions we must have this global mindset at the heart of our approach. This is not only central to growth of the internationally focused UK tech sector but will also help us better prepare for what comes next across the issues that affect people, our society, economy and planet.
I would also like to congratulate the chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier on a significant achievement.
Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE said:
DIGITALEUROPE welcomes today’s deal as a crucial opportunity to move from politics to partnership. Since the referendum result in 2016, we have consistently argued that the EU and the UK should aim for as close a relationship as possible to ensure the success of Europe’s digital sector.
While we have yet to dig into the detail of this deal, we are glad to see the joint commitment to eliminating tariffs and quotas, and to liberalising rules of origin. We are also hopeful that the groundwork has been laid for regulatory cooperation and collaboration across the economy, and are fully prepared to contribute to this process.
Of course, the work is not yet done. The EU has yet to reach an adequacy decision regarding the UK – there is an urgent need to make progress here so that data can continue to flow between our economies and our businesses. Our recent study showed that 6 out of 10 European companies transfer data between the EU and UK.
Looking ahead, the EU and UK face the same challenges of post-Covid recovery, the digital transformation of our societies and economies, and the climate transition. The EU and the UK must now turn towards these global challenges as allies, in a spirit of shared values and like-minded collaboration.
We congratulate both Chief Negotiators and their teams for this achievement. Now we look to our respective Parliaments and EU Member States to do all that is necessary to allow this agreement to enter into force by 1 January 2021.
Neil Ross leads on techUK’s economic policy as well as working with members to ensure the best possible outcome for the tech sector in the future relationship between the UK and EU.
Neil joined techUK in 2019 to lead on techUK’s response to Brexit and the UK-EU trade negotiations as well as working on techUK’s economic policy.
Since then he has led on economic policy covering the UK’s industrial strategy, R&D policy, digital adoption and UK data policy.
This work involves regularly engaging with UK and Devolved Government Ministers, senior civil servants and Members of the UK’s Parliaments aiming to support government work with industry to make the UK the best place to start, scale and develop technology companies.
Julian David is the CEO of techUK, the Digital Technology Trade Association.
Julian leads techUK's 60 strong team in representing over 800 member companies, comprising global and national champions and more than 500 SMEs. He is a member of the UK Government and Industry Cyber Growth Partnership, the Digital Economy Council and the Department of International Trade’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group. He is also the Vice President for National Trade Associations, on the Executive Board of DIGITALEUROPE, Vice President representing Europe on the board of WITSA the Worldwide IT Association, and a member of the board of the Health innovation Network, the South London Academic Health Science Network.
Alice leads all of techUK’s activities across brand, marketing and communications as well as our member engagement and business development teams.
She works closely with the market and policy teams to define how best to engage with members and stakeholders.
Previously, Alice led techUK’s communications strategy building brand awareness through an ambitious media relations and wider communications programme. She has international experience building corporate, consumer and business campaigns for both mainstream and niche technology brands.
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