Brexit deal will secure certainty for UK’s world-class digital sector
03 December 2018
The Prime Minister’s Brexit Deal will provide the UK’s £130b digital sector with the certainty it needs to continue to thrive, says DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright.
The digital and tech industries employ more than 2.1 million people across the UK.
The continuation of free-flowing data is vital to both our economy and security. The government estimate three-quarters of the UK’s service exports to the EU rely on data flows, so it is absolutely essential they continue unhindered post Brexit.
Many companies are now dependent on services such as cloud computing to power their services while others use data to program and test new technology to solve problems we will face in the future – from an ageing society to curing disease.
With its commitment to protect against barriers to trade and create an open, safe and secure online environment, the deal delivers on our commitments to help new technologies evolve and encourage innovation in the economy.
The UK and EU have agreed to put in place arrangements on personal data so that it is protected and can be processed safely and securely. This will mean that once the implementation period is over, we can continue to reap the economic benefits that come from the free flow of data.
Under the Prime Minister’s deal, we have agreed with the EU to develop a future partnership that will:
• Facilitate e-commerce and its growth;
• Reduce unjustified barriers to digital trade in order to drive competitiveness;
• Enable data to continue to flow freely; and
• Drive innovation through the exchanging of information, experience and best practice on emerging technologies in the future.
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright said:
“Our message to the UK’s world-leading digital and tech businesses is clear. We have secured the best deal possible to protect our businesses and make sure our personal data is processed safely and securely.
“The deal will help support our talented tech innovators, future emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, while addressing unjustified barriers to digital trade.
“Businesses big and small and in every sector of the economy – from video games makers to hotel and travel companies, mail order firms to manufacturers – want certainty. We now need to back the Prime Minister and get the job done.”
Tech Nation CEO Gerard Grech said:
“The UK is Europe’s leading tech hub and is growing fast. We need to keep building on that momentum. The current deal is pragmatic and creates an element of certainty going forward. And the digital tech sector, which is both resourceful and entrepreneurial, will continue to thrive and build fresh opportunities in a post-Brexit world.”
Emma Jones, founder of small business support group, Enterprise Nation, said:
"The companies that we work with are putting politics aside and seeing it as a chance to get back to business, with as little disruption as possible. They need clarity and support over posturing and uncertainty.
“That is what this deal represents – and hopefully, it will be passed so that we can look to opportunities beyond leaving the EU.”
Reflecting the UK’s strengths as a world leader in technological innovation, the UK’s future relationship with the EU will include new arrangements on digital and data – supporting these fast-evolving, innovative sectors and helping create the best conditions for new digital businesses to start-up and scale-up. These specific arrangements will cover a wide range of areas including e-commerce, telecoms and emerging technologies which together highlight the increasing importance of digital trade globally.
The deal will guarantee open and liberalised telecoms markets and prevent anti-competitive practices including from major suppliers. These arrangements will give both consumers and business access to the digital infrastructure they rely on to operate across the world.
The UK is one of the leading digital and tech countries in the world. The UK has produced 60 tech unicorns – businesses worth more than $1 billion – 35 percent of Europe’s total and almost 2.5 times more than Germany.
The UK has a consistent track record of producing successful tech companies. In 2017, UK companies attracted more than £6 billion in venture capital investment – more than France, Germany and Sweden combined.