Post-Brexit trade deals have left “significant barriers” in place that are hampering digital trade to and from the UK, the City of London corporation warned today.
Despite ministers striking a series of free trade agreements with the likes of Australia, Japan and New Zealand, the success of the deals has been hampered by a lack of engagement from officials, as well as “a litany of carve-outs and exceptions”, the City of London Corp said in a new report.
The group pointed to a lack of regulator-to-regulator cooperation and lacklustre means of sharing information between markets as among the key barriers to digital trade in the UK.
The new prime minister is now being urged by the group to ease the flow of digital trade by including regulators in “defining negotiation terms and objectives” of future deals, as well as building regulatory processes around “specific concrete commitments”.
Policy chairman at the City of London Corporation Chris Hayward said today that addressing the barriers was key if the UK was to “set the agenda on digital trade and the flow of data”.
“This issue is vital for our financial services exports and by default to our customers and clients around the world,” he said
“We hope the next Prime Minister and his or her Government will seize these opportunities during ongoing trade negotiations with India, Canada, Mexico and others,” he added.
Pressure is growing on ministers to address digital trade barriers after financial lobby group the City UK warned in August that countries were at risk of being broken into national “splinternets” unless governments agree on a shared approach to data regulation.