Comment: Hard Brexit must be well managed

With two years of hard negotiation about to begin, what will the tech sector be hoping the government can achieve from its Brexit deal?

The main thing will be continuing access to Europe’s single market for digital products and services.

But this also means being able to recruit much needed skills in engineering and science. There is an economic case for controlled immigration post-Brexit.

According to a recent report carried out by Frontier Economics and commissioned by digital business body techUK, the tech sector in this country is more highly integrated with European markets than many other business sectors. This means it is dependent upon legal and regulatory frameworks established at EU level over many decades.

This means that, get it wrong and Brexit could see significant shocks in the digital supply chain.

Julian David

Julian David

This will not only affect consumers with higher prices, something we are already starting to see. But it will affect tech businesses and the UK economy as a whole.

I agree with Julian David, CEO of techUK, when he says that the UK’s digital technology  businesses are more dependent than most upon the European market.

For this reason a bespoke free trade agreement (FTA) is the most desirable outcome to the Brexit negotiations. But just as important will be a smooth transition before a full FTA  can be agreed and implemented.

In short the tech sector will be hoping for business-as-usual stability before the big changes that will inevitably follow from “a hard Brexit” take effect.

In the area of cross border data flows this means having an adequate data protection regime.

In the case of access to engineering skills this should mean controlled immigration until such as time that UK universities can make up the shortfall.


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