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Leaving Digital Single Market 'Dangerous and Unnecessary'

Article date: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 13:24 GMT

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones

Theresa May’s decision to take the UK out of the EU’s Digital Single Market (DSM) is a decision that delivers no obvious benefits, according to the CEO of one of the UK’s largest internet hosting firms.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE says that leaving the DSM is unnecessary and creates uncertainty, which is a problem both for the technology industry and the wider business community.

He said: Businesses are built upon confidence – confidence in suppliers, in each other and in the economy. Brexit has already caused a huge amount of uncertainty in the economy, so that last thing we need is confidence to fall in the UK’s ability as a digital leader.

“It's a worry for the UK that we’re leaving the Digital Single Market. We don't need more uncertainty and the DSM is actually a really good system that aligns well with the way the UK does business.

“Theresa May has got enough on her plate with so many questions around our trade relationships and the Irish border, so why not just leave this aligned?”

The DSM is currently adopting a package of measures to enable frictionless online trade in services, capital and goods between.

Hosting specialist UKFast hosts thousands of businesses and a huge number of online retailers, from micro-sellers to large enterprises and public sector organisations.

Jones adds: “We must remain aligned with the EU on digital trading or risk losing out on a huge amount of trade across the continent, so we need clarity now on how we’re going to remain part of this marketplace.

“The DSM helps everyone understand where they are and what the rules are, and there's absolutely no financial gain to be made from leaving. It can only cause disruption, so i'm not entirely sure what the point of this whole move is.     

“It adds complexity, uncertainty and barriers to digital business. Nobody voted for Brexit because of our digital policy. We are a world-leader in digital policy, in conjunction with the EU.

It could put the brakes on businesses looking to invest in the UK and planning to place digital assets here. It's a real issue and I’ll be working hard to ensure we have clarity quickly.”

UKFast employs 400 people at its Manchester campus and has recently announced that it is opening up part of its 80,000 sq. ft. HQ as an incubator for technology businesses.
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