Editorial

techUK tells PM what the country’s IT firms want from Brexit

British technology trade body lays out its four top priorities for HMG as part of forthcoming European Union departure negotiations

Posted 24 January 2017 by

techUK, the body that acts as the voice for the British IT supplier community, has just published what it says are its members’ “key asks for government” on its forthcoming EU exit negotiations.

That’s because “to ensure tech is the bedrock of Brexit success”, in its words, “a disorderly Brexit would significantly increase the risk of demand- and/or supply-side shocks that would negatively impact consumers, businesses and the UK economy as a whole”.

The four ‘asks’ are that Theresa May’s government makes sure we leave the EU with

  • a “realistic and robust” plan to ensure the UK’s digital industries can thrive post-Brexit, recognising the importance of the UK’s digital sectors and their exposure to Brexit
  • continued market access and regulatory certainty
  • a way to keep the UK will remain “open to the best international talent”
  • a “robust legal process” in place to support cross-border data transfers.

The group says its suggestions are based on the output of a special report on the possible impact of Brexit it commissioned.

techUK claims the study “makes it clear” that the country’s successful tech sector is highly integrated with European markets and dependent upon legal and regulatory frameworks established at EU level over many decades.

As a result, “It is extremely difficult to predict exactly what will happen when the UK extracts itself from such a complex political, economic and legal system. There is no precedent and there is much that we don’t know.”

However, says the group, which says speaks for 900 members who between them employ over 700,000 tech professionals, “A disorderly Brexit would significantly increase the risk of demand- and/or supply-side shocks that would negatively impact consumers, businesses and the UK economy as a whole.

“It is vital therefore that the UK achieves a smooth exit from the EU that lays the ground work for the government’s ambitions for a new Global Britain.”