Competitive markets

In Sky News interview ICC Sec Gen warns ‘get serious’ on digital trade

  • 21 November 2019
ICC letter in Financial Times

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO appeared on Sky News’s Ian King show today, bringing a global business perspective to the on-going Brexit debate.

During a live interview, Mr Denton told Sky’s Ian King that it was the level of uncertainty around Brexit that was causing businesses concern – with consequences being felt globally.

On behalf of over 45 million companies worldwide, Mr Denton said that ICC was looking to see what opportunity would arise form Brexit saying: “We must always respect the democratic decisions of citizens and then see if we can make certain that the outcomes of those decisions cause as least damage or create as much opportunity as possible.”

Mr Denton underscored the need for policy certainty and a long-term view of Britain’s Brexit future which, he said would signal to investors and businesses of all sizes that the rules of play were not about to change.

Asserting the perspective of large and small companies alike, Mr Denton stressed that any disruptions to trade processes or policy had the potential to negatively impact bottom lines and impact the ability of businesses to continue re-investing, and creating employment and other opportunities.

Mr Denton pointed to potential areas of opportunities, describing the UK as a leading force of the digital economy and calling for the country to focus on how to ensure the digital economy could work more effectively globally to become more conducive to and supportive of UK businesses.

Reiterating ICC calls this week to support renewal of a WTO moratorium on electronic tranmissions that has played a vital role in the development of the digital economy, Mr Denton highlighted ICC’s role in bringing focus to the risks posed to the operations of e-commerce and digital businesses warning: “There is a real threat right now to the effective operation of the digital economy. There are countries right now who are seeking to put tariffs on digital downloads between economies, across borders. That is going to have a huge impact on digital businesses emanating out of the UK. The UK government needs to get serious and focus on this issue.”

Consequences of Brexit will be felt globally