Britain: Rule taker, not maker

Britain is increasingly looking like the US’ obedient rule taker, not maker. 

New evidence has emerged to suggest that attempts by the British government to establish a cooperative council with the US to address tech and data concerns has continually been rebuffed by Washington.

This follows the failure of officials from both sides of the Atlantic to secure a deal for free flow of data between the US and UK last October. Instead, what seems to have occurred is the expectation that the UK would join a US led effort to expand data transfer rules baked into the Asia-Pacific Economic cooperation trading agreement. 

A complete contrast to how the US has approached relations with the EU. The TTC Forum, founded in 2021 includes key members of the Biden administration and gives their EU counterparts a direct line to the US government to shape tech and trade policy. Indeed, according to US government officials, the TTC has set the standards for how the EU and Washington deal with an increasingly competitive China. 

So, why has the US decided to let the UK slide on this? Perhaps because they don’t want to irritate the Europeans, given the tensions between Brussels and London over Brexit? Or perhaps because the US just doesn’t take the UK seriously?

Indeed, on this front, the US might well be following the EU.

Three European Commission officials disregarded the likelihood of Britain joining the TTC, indeed, during the discussions over the Northern Ireland Protocol, it emerged that the UK was not even a priority country for involvement in the TTC.

This raises interesting questions for the UK’s place in the global restructuring occurring post COVID.

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