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TechUK calls for government to help tech sector ‘power UK back to growth’

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The UK’s tech trade body techUK has called for the government to create a plan enabling the tech sector to “power the UK back to growth” following last week’s vote to leave the EU.

The body, which represents over 900 companies and 800,000 employees, said in a statement that the UK tech sector has been the “outstanding success of the UK economy” over the past ten years and will be “vital to the UK’s success in a post Brexit world”.

“Politicians need to listen to and engage with businesses that are committed to quickly getting Britain back on track,” it added.

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TechUK also published a five-point plan on what the nation’s technology industry requires from the government.

1. Access to the Single Market must be the primary objective of any UK negotiation

The body states maintaining access to the single market must be the number one objective of any new relationship with Europe. It claims access to the single market generates jobs and is a key factor in the UK’s ability to attract foreign investment.

2. Retaining and attracting talent is vital to the success and growth of UK tech

In the place of free movement, a new ‘smart immigration’ policy must be put in place, prioritising the needs of the tech sector, TechUK argues.

3. Work should start now on securing international data flows and data protection

TechUK also wants to ensure the government maintains the free flowing data channels between the UK and the EU.

4. Government must take every opportunity to do business as usual and listen hard to tech

“Government must demonstrate that uncertainty does not have to mean paralysis,” states the tech body, adding that a number of policy and funding decisions should not be delayed by the EU Referendum outcome. Examples include reforms to planning rules, which would reduce costs and delays in improvements in rural communications infrastructure.

5. Work with business now on a new Digital Strategy for this new world

The government should publish the recently devised Digital Strategy as a draft and seek feedback from business on how it can be altered to address the new challenges and opportunities ahead.

“The UK has one chance to get this right. The approach must be strategic and comprehensive, looking at the whole of the UK’s tech ecosystem. It will fail if it is a collection of headline grabbing gimmicks,” the five-point plan concludes.

What do you think of TechUK’s five-point plan? What do you think the government needs to do to ensure the UK’s tech industry continues to flourish? Let us know in the comments below.

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