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TechUK Outlines Brexit Negotiation Priorities

The IT industry body TechUK outlines what it believes are the Brexit negotiation priorities for the UK IT sector.

TechUK says that the UK's digitally intensive firms, including suppliers and users, account for 16% of GVA, 24% of all exports and 3 million jobs.

In light of the new Supreme Court ruling meaning that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without Parliament approval, TechUK outlined its four major priorities going forward for the Tech industry.

They have also commissioned Frontier Economics to produce an independent report on how leaving the EU will affect the UK's world leading digital economy.

In particular this highlighted the three key areas most at risk from Brexit: market access and digital trade, access to skills, and free flow of data.

Before the referendum, the vast majority of TechUK's members said that they would vote to remain in the EU saying that by leaving, IT companies in the UK would miss out on trade agreements that give them advantages in targeting a market of 500 million people.

Tech UK's Brexit Priorities

The first priority for Brexit negotiations is to have a plan to ensure the UK's digital industries can still thrive after exiting the EU, combined with the creation of a new FTA (free-trade agreement).

Its second priority concerns continued market access, and reassurance that companies could still have maximum access to the single market for digital products and services.

The third is that the UK remains open to international talent. Currently 18% of the UK's tech workforce comes from people born oversees, with a third of these being born in the EU.

TechUK's final priority is to ensure that the right legal processes are in place for cross-border data transfers before Brexit actually happens.

The government has listened to concerns that the Tech community has, and has started to do some IT-related preparation for life outside the EU, for example, Theresa May recently launched a new industrial strategy for the UK, with aims to boost the economy post-Brexit.

Led by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) strategy plans to invest in science, research and innovation, and the development of digital skills.

In an effort to boost STEM skills, the government will also provide £170m funding to create 'Institutes of Technology', responsible for delivering higher-level technical education.

All of this is being done to reassure the Tech sector that the UK will continue to be a leader of digital development, even after Brexit hits.



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