Bill Gates says Britain can be a world technology leader after Brexit, but CBI demands certainty on data

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Before the UK's referendum on leaving the EU last year, Bill Gates warned that a vote to leave could jeopardize the country’s position in the science and technology sector.

But in an interview with the Daily Telegraph (paywalled) the Microsoft founder says that Britain can remain a world leader if care is taken.

Gates has invested £750 million in UK research institutions including universities in Liverpool, Edinburgh, London, Cambridge, and Oxford, "because they're the best at doing lots of this important work."

However, Gates warns that there will be some challenges to overcome to ensure that the UK retains its position as a world leader. Gates met with Chancellor Philip Hammond in April, and says that Mr Hammond was "keen to minimize" any disruption to the scientific research community.

Gates' comments come on the same day that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warns that an interim deal on data must be part of comprehensive EU transitional arrangements to prevent the UK's £240 billion data economy falling off a cliff edge.

CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie will warn in a keynote speech to the National Cyber Security Conference in London today that, "The UK Government has taken the right steps by introducing the new Data Protection Bill and committing to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But in the long-term, we need an 'adequacy decision' with the EU, where the UK can prove our data laws and business environment meet EU standards."

Hardie stresses that businesses need certainty when transferring and processing data and that a deal is needed for this to happen.

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