Minister Says Britain Will Keep Data Flowing After Brexit


On Monday, Graham Stuart, the junior trade minister, said that Britain is working to make sure that data will be able to flow unhindered between Europe and the United Kingdom even after Brexit, and technology companies will still have access to the best international talent.

Frictionless data transfer, as included in the new European legislation that is shaped by Britain, and the ability to look for talented engineers and other workers post-Brexit are the top two demands from various telecoms and tech companies.

Earlier on Monday, the CEO of Vodafone, Vittorio Colao, said during the biggest mobile show in the world that the notion of “managed divergence” between EU and British rules after Britain withdraws from the trading bloc made no actual sense and would not work.

Britain is said to favour a mixed approach of “managed divergence” after Brexit, whereby it will follow rules of the European Union in some sectors and deviate from them in others. On Friday, Donald Tusk, European Council President,  called the ideas that are floated so far as”pure illusion.”

Read more: Donald Tusk: New Brexit Plans of the UK are “Pure Illusion”

Stuart promotes investment in the United Kingdom by foreign partners and helps companies in the United Kingdom to export. He said that the UK government was “committed to ensuring that data flows in Europe.”

He stated: “Data is a high priority for the government in the negotiations to ensure that we have a system that works and facilitates the transfer in a way which does not create barriers for operators on either side of the Channel.

“It is absolutely critical to the industrial future set out in our recent strategy that data flows are not interrupted.”

He said that it was up to the other people in the government to negotiate regarding the details of a data agreement as a part of a trade package with the European Union.

However, he said that tech companies in the United Kingdom would be able to hire the best engineers and other talents from international markets after Britain leaves the bloc.

He stated: “The government remains committed to ensuring that people can access talent, and clearly you can see by their actual investment decision that companies are reassured.”

Companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google have announced their investments in London since the EU referendum in 2016.

Stuart was talking during the first day of the Mobile World Congress that was held in Barcelona. He said that Britain had a larger presence than ever before and was helping approximately 200 companies to secure more deals in the international markets.