Digital policy stays on track after Brexit vote, top EU tech official says

31 January 2017 9:55am

27 June 2016. By Magnus Franklin, Leah Nylen, Lewis Crofts.

The EU plan to create a “digital single market” in the bloc stays on track irrespective of the fallout of the UK referendum to leave the union, Roberto Viola, the top civil servant for technology policy at the European executive said today. The EU remains the world’s largest trading bloc, even if the UK leaves, he reminded an audience in Washington, D.C.

“The EU, without the UK, will still be the largest economic block,” Viola said. “The US and EU is where real digital change evolves, and it will remain so.”

“There is nothing, in terms of our intention to realize a strong and well-functioning digital single market, that has changed and we would continue the way we approach it,” Viola said.

The Digital Single Market is an umbrella policy of the European Commission aimed at bringing down barriers to technology and e-commerce markets within the EU.

Viola acknowledged that the EU consists of a diverse group of countries, some of which have a more market-oriented approach, and others that have a “command and control” orientation to policy.

“There is no need to worry from a business perspective that the digital single market will change,” he said.

Viola’s comments add to a slew of senior policymakers whose comments appear to be aimed at calming market turmoil amid deep slumps in stock markets, as well as the British pound.

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