SCL Predictions 2018 - 12

Dr Monica Horten focuses on the effects of Brexit on tech and tech industries

Did they come true? Here goes... This is what I wrote in December 2017 - just over two years ago, and one year before the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement was finalised. 

Regulatory alignment with the Single Market would seem to be the EU bottom line ...So will we be inside or outside, aligned or diverging, excluded or shadowing?

Communications and technology industries have had a low profile in the public debate compared with other sectors, but it is clear that they will not escape the consequences. There are issues yet to be resolved with regard to Digital Single Market (DSM) policy, such as intermediary liability and copyright (Article 13 of the proposed new Copyright Directive) or video-sharing platforms (Article 28 of the proposed new Audio-visual Media Services Directive). It is arguably in our national interest to be able to shape these outcomes. Britain already has decreasing influence, yet ‘full alignment’ presumes we will retain an interest for the long term.

The political decision will determine the future opportunities for British digital businesses. Large technology and communications  businesses can adapt, for example, by moving their servers to an  EU27 jurisdiction, but smaller players and users could be negatively  impacted in the face of a ‘shifting sands’ regulatory landscape.

How to square these different circles to get the best for British technology businesses and Internet users...

At the beginning of 2020, the UK government is threatening a radical divergence that will only harm tech industries, and many are quietly moving servers elsewhere.