Commenting on Boris Johnson’s speech on Brexit, where he said that only by ‘taking back control’ of our laws can UK business have the freedom to innovate, techUK Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said:
“UK tech businesses are at the forefront of global digital innovation. They know that alignment with the EU on key issues such as data protection, electronics standards and research partnerships makes the UK more competitive not less.
“Post-Brexit the UK can be a true global hub for tech, acting as a bridge between the EU and other markets like the USA and China. But this opportunity requires us to have easy access to the Single Market. We do not make the UK more attractive to the rest of the world by putting barriers in the way of trade with our biggest market. Whilst there may be areas where the UK wants to diverge from EU rules in the future, these are likely to be limited as the gains from divergence would have to outweigh the very significant benefits of having alignment with our closest trading partner. Regulatory alignment on key issues like data protection does not inhibit the ability of UK firms to innovate or trade with the rest of the word.
“The Government is on the right path when it comes to issues such as data protection, where it is pursuing close EU alignment. The UK’s leading innovative tech businesses and our trading allies around the world want us to maintain that course. Alignment will always require trade-offs, but we should treat our regulatory partnership with the EU as an asset, not a liability to our post-Brexit future.”