UK's future success outside the EU underpinned by choices on major digital issues - BCS Brexit Report

21 February 2017

As the House of Lords continues its debate on Brexit, a new report by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, calls upon the UK to use Brexit as an opportunity to make the much-needed changes in the digital sector to position the country as a digital world leader.

The opportunities available to the UK in this new Brexit context, underpinned by what should happen regardless within our sector that will ensure IT is good for society.

The report concludes that the UK’s future success outside the EU will be underpinned by our choices on major digital issues.

The UK needs to make the right choices for a future that is:

  • Data-driven: we want to see the UK as an exemplar and innovator in a data age, with data protection equivalence with EU regulations as a minimum goal for the UK.
  • Digitally-capable: we want to see investment in our current and future workforce along with academia and research to match our ambitions. We also want to create a welcoming environment for the top global talent in our sector.
  • Secure: we want to see cross-border cooperation on cyber security, together with a boost in UK participation in international standards development to ensure maximised UK capabilities and an integrated security strategy.
  • Connected: we want to see a world-leading digital infrastructure that matches our ambitions in every sector through strategic cooperation on communications, regulation and pricing beyond Brexit.

David Evans, Director of Policy at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT says: “Since the June 2016 Referendum result in favour of leaving the European Union, BCS members have been in dialogue about the issues and opportunities that arise from the change in relationship between the UK and Europe. Much uncertainty remains, but there are a number of clear objectives for UK government, business, the IT profession and wider society to aim for. Most of the issues are not new, but are heightened, more urgent or modified as a result of this decision.”

Dave Roberts, Chief Information Officer at Radius Payment Solutions adds: “There has been an IT Skills shortage in the UK for several years, but following the Referendum result for the UK to leave the EU, it now means that this issue is likely to become more acute with restricted movement of potential candidates from the European Union. It is important that the digital skills shortage issue is acknowledged and measures are taken by the Government to lower the barriers to entry for migrate digital workers, not just from the EU but from across the globe. There needs to be further investment in Technology and Digital education to ensure the UK remains in a strong position with a sustainable pipeline of home grown talent from within the United Kingdom.”

BCS is a charity and professional membership organisation incorporated by Royal Charter, here to Make IT Good for Society. BCS is politically-neutral and home to members with diverse views and affiliations. The EU Referendum result has set a new course for the UK. BCS is therefore eager to ensure that the right steps are taken to ensure that digital issues arising from exiting the EU are understood.

BCS has engaged in dialogue with its membership, consulted with stakeholders and revisited policy issues to capture the most important areas and develop a strategy after the Brexit vote. The majority of significant policy issues for the UK’s exit are still the subject of debate and speculation, so there is a great deal of uncertainty and positions are likely to evolve over the coming months and years. It is the aim of this report to give a snapshot of the situation and rather than simply react to events, to develop a picture of the choices the UK needs to make to meet its own aspirations in the digital arena.

Download the BCS Digital Brexit report

Contact the Press Office