Government side-steps questions over Digital Strategy delay

Written by PublicTechnology on 23 January 2017 in News
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The government is to examine how it plans to maintain the UK’s digital economy after Brexit, it has announced.

MPs had called on the government to give reasons for the delay to its Digital Strategy- Photo credit: PA Images

On Friday, the government released its response to the Business Innovation and Skills Committee report into the digital economy, published in July. 

The committee had called on the government to explain how its Digital Strategy will be affected by the referendum result.


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In its response, the government said: “The decision taken by the British people to leave the European Union will clearly change our relationship with the European Union, but it will not stop our progress toward a more digital economy.

“The decisions around priorities for the renegotiation will be taken by the Prime Minister in due course.

“But in the meantime the UK remains a member of the EU, subject to its legislation, and the government will continue to play a role in EU institutions, representing the interests of the British people and economy. is position will continue throughout the renegotiation period and until the UK formally leaves the EU.”

The response also said that the government would “consider all options” to ensure that digital companies can make the most of trading relationships with the rest of the world after Brexit.

It said: “We are committed to ensuring that the UK retains its reputation as one of the best places in the world to start, scale up and invest in a digital business.”

The government, however, failed to respond to the committee’s demand that it explain the delay to the refreshed Digital Strategy, which is now more than a year late.

Instead, it said: “We are already among the most digitally connected countries in the world with a globally successful digital economy.

“Following the decision of the British people to leave the European Union, we have been engaging closely with the digital industries to understand their priorities, and will continue to do so.”

It also listed measures taken to support innovation and technology through research and development funding and investment in digital infrastructure.

It said: “We will continue to work with industry to ensure that our digital and industrial strategies help boost growth and productivity across the country and across the economy.”

The government said that it was engaging with the digital sector to understand their perspectives following the referendum result.

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