Italy says Brexit impact ‘starting to show’ but STILL vows European integration won’t stop

Rishi Sunak praises G7 corporate tax agreement

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Vittorio Colao, Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, was speaking on the sidelines of the Trento Economics Festival, during which delegates considered the needs of the digital sector in an era in which working remotely was increasingly becoming the norm. And Mr Colao, the former chief executive of Vodafone, also lamented the UK’s decision to vote to leave in 2016 – and the consequent impact the decision had had.

He said: “The negative impact of Brexit is beginning to show, but the integration of the European process will continue.

“In the long term, I think the constant progress of this EU of 27 countries pays more than not taking a bet every now and then.

Mr Colao added: “I am a great supporter of a future that brings together the best of both worlds.

“We must enable the legal and also cultural framework that will take the best of face-to-face work and smart working.

“In this sense we are also stimulating companies, universities, public enterprises to put together the best of two worlds.

“We are going towards a mixed work model, without the anguish of going to work very early or not being able to manage the family life.

“But we must not forget the need and the importance of socialising and mentoring towards young people.”

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Referring to behaviour which was regarded as the norm prior to the pandemic, Mr Colao said: “We won’t do certain things anymore.

“I confess that I went to Hong Kong for a dinner and if I think about the footprint of that dinner…nonsense that we won’t do anymore.”

Referring to the sensitive issue of cybersecurity, Mr Colao said: “We have 93-95 percent of the servers of the Public Administration not in safe conditions.

“No one is safe here and we cannot go on like this.

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“We need more secure clouds because the sensitive data of citizens and less sensitive are kept in safety.

“We will also classify commercial data and cloud layers which, if used, will need to be certified.

“ A safe world on both the commercial and non-commercial side.”

Mr Colao was a critic of Brexit in the run-up to the 2015 referendum, insisting Britain needed to remain in the bloc to shape the future of the single market for digital services, one the fastest growing sectors of the economy.

At the time he told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We think the digital single market is the next big opportunity for the economy, in Europe in general and for Britain in particular.

“It would be a great missed opportunity if Britain was trying to sit outside of it and not shaping it from inside.”

Speaking yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said a “seismic” global deal to tax the big tech firms was proof that Brexit Britain was a world leader.

The new global tax deal agreed by the G7 nations of the world’s largest economies will set a world minimum corporation tax rate of 15 per cent on profits.

Mr Sunak commented: “What this demonstrates is that we as a country can play a leadership role.

“Various people have asked what does the UK do after Brexit? Has our standing in the world diminished? Do people listen to us?

“I think this is one of hopefully numerous examples of the UK unquestionably playing a leadership role.

“That’s the UK doing its job, playing that leadership role on topics which help people’s lives.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)

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