Webinar on 18 November : Could Brexit deliver Silicon Valley upon Avon?

How can the UK achieve its ambitious objectives of establishing itself as a global tech industry player?

A 90 minutes Webinar taking place on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 3 pm GMT – Registration is available here.

Organised by the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law at City, University of London and Reed Smith LLP

Recently, the Department of International Trade & the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have jointly announced measures that are part of a global strategy to establish the UK tech industry as a global player. They seek to significantly increase UK tech exports to international markets and attract investments.

How can the UK achieve its ambitious objectives? While data flows keep growing exponentially, an increasing number of governments are imposing barriers for cross-border data flows, insofar as they see the free flow of data as a threat to public order, consumer privacy and national security. The existing WTO rules cannot address effectively the issue of the balance between the need for free cross-border data flows and the pursuit of policy objectives. In this context, digital trade provisions are becoming more prominent in free trade agreements. The different models, however, reflect countries’ fundamental differences in ideologies and regulatory approaches. The recognition of the need for reform and the risk of fragmentation of the regulatory framework have prompted some WTO Members to launch talks to put in place global rules on e-commerce.

In this context, can Brexit constitute an opportunity for the UK? To what extent can the UK devise its own digital trade policy and regulatory objectives, choose its model for digital trade provisions in FTAs, and influence not only future FTAs, but also rules negotiated at the WTO, according to its own agenda?

Panelists will inter alia address the followings:

  • The international legal framework and digital trade provisions in FTAs: what model for the UK in its FTAs? Will it follow the US approach? See the UK-Japan FTA
  • The future UK-EU digital relationship
  • UK’s priorities in the negotiation at the WTO
  • What treatment for cross-border data flows of financial data?
  • How can the UK become a global leader in digital trade and shape the regulatory framework (what role at the WTO and other international fora?)


  • Professor Panos Koutrakos, Professor of EU Law and Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, City, University of London


  • James Lockett, CEO, Lockett International LLC


  • Stéphanie Noël, Attorney-at-law – Paris & Geneva, S Noël Law Office, Geneva
  • Dr. Orla Lynskey, Associate Professor, LSE
  • David Henig, European Centre for International Political Economy, Director of UK Trade Policy Project
  • Katalina Bateman, Counsel, Reed Smith LLP, London
  • Sabina Ciofu, TechUK, Head of EU and Trade Policy

Please log in 15 minutes prior to the start of the program.

Further information is available here.