The United Kingdom’s (UK) trade negotiators want to influence global blockchain regulation in its upcoming free trade talks with the United States. In its published agenda for negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, blockchain is identified as one area in which businesses and the country will benefit from an FTA with the U.S.
The plan is straightforward and the “opportunity,” as UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) called it, is clear. UK’s post-Brexit trade broker said it will “seek to deliver” favourable digital trade terms for small to midsized businesses, including those in blockchain.
The proposed chapter on SMEs will include: “A digital trade chapter with cutting edge provisions that will aim to maximise opportunities for digital trade across all sectors of the economy.”
It is claimed that an FTA with these provisions will benefit UK business in the digital economy, specifically highlighting the blockchain industry as a potential beneficiary: “In areas such as data flows, blockchain, driverless cars and quantum technology we have the opportunity to help shape global rules through ambitious digital trade provisions.”
In this era, UK has to make the move to champion a clear direction intention to flow along with emerging digital technologies. If UK lags behind in blockchain technology then it stands to lose out to its neighbours Germany and France who are actively putting in measures to align their standards to international best practices in the digital economy.
British officials remain tight-lipped on the critical details of the trade talks that pertains to Blockchain and other digital technologies. The intention is clear that UK wants to future-proof the agreement in anticipation of rapid technological developments with new disruptive digital technologies. Few UK companies are making any headway in driverless car technologies even though they are behind on 5G technology. All these different digital technologies will depend on blockchain for data integrity.