24 Dec 2020

Statement from DIGITALEUROPE and techUK on Brexit agreement

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes today’s agreement on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. 

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE said:  

“DIGITALEUROPE welcomes today’s deal as a crucial opportunity to move from politics to partnership. Since the referendum result in 2016, we have consistently argued that the EU and the UK should aim for as close a relationship as possible to ensure the success of Europe’s digital sector.  

While we have yet to dig into the detail of this deal, we are glad to see the joint commitment to eliminating tariffs and quotas, and to liberalising rules of origin. We are also hopeful that the groundwork has been laid for regulatory cooperation and collaboration across the economy, and are fully prepared to contribute to this process.  

Of course, the work is not yet done. The EU has yet to reach an adequacy decision regarding the UK – there is an urgent need to make progress here so that data can continue to flow between our economies and our businesses. Our recent study showed that 6 out of 10 European companies transfer data between the EU and UK. 

Looking ahead, the EU and UK face the same challenges of post-Covid recovery, the digital transformation of our societies and economies, and the climate transition. The EU and the UK must now turn towards these global challenges as allies, in a spirit of shared values and like-minded collaboration.  

We congratulate both Chief Negotiators and their teams for this achievement. Now we look to our respective Parliaments and EU Member States to do all that is necessary to allow this agreement to enter into force by 1 January 2021. ”

Julian David CEO of techUK and Vice-President of DIGITALEUROPE, said:  

“Today’s announcement marks the end of trade negotiations but the beginning of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. While we wait to see the finer details, a deal will provide clarity on the terms of trade from 1 January 2021, helping businesses prepare for the end of the transition period. It will also support trust and confidence between the two sides so that any outstanding issues, such vital agreements on data adequacy and financial equivalence, can be resolved at speed.  

However the deal achieved today will go far beyond the text on the page, this marks a new phase in the UK-EU relationship since the referendum in 2016.  

 The COVID-19 crisis has shown how interconnected the world is and the vital importance of international supply chains and cross border working to ensuring shelves are stocked, families and colleagues kept in contact and the best and brightest are supported to develop and deliver vaccines.  

As the UK seeks to build on this deal, negotiate new trade agreements with other partners and develop our role in multilateral institutions we must have this global mindset at the heart of our approach. This is not only central to growth of the internationally focused UK tech sector but will also help us better prepare for what comes next across the issues that affect people, our society, economy and planet.  

I would also like to congratulate the chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier on a significant achievement. ” 

For more information, please contact:
Chris Ruff
Director for Political Outreach & Communications
Policy Paper 15 Jul 2020
DIGITALEUROPE priorities for a free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union
Press Release 31 Jan 2020
Brexit and the future of EU-UK digital cooperation – statement from DIGITALEUROPE
Press Release 15 Nov 2018
BREXIT - comments on the Withdrawal Agreement
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