Leading Support for the Digital Single Market

The internet and digital technologies are transforming our world. But existing barriers online mean citizens often miss out on cheaper and more varied goods and services; internet companies and start-ups have their horizons limited, and businesses and governments cannot fully benefit from digital tools.

Conservative MEPs are leading the campaign to make the EU's single market fit for the digital age – tearing down regulatory walls and moving from 28 national digital markets to a single European one. As Conservative Consumer Spokesman and Coordinator on the Internal Market Committee this is a campaign particularly close to my heart.

Our campaign will revolve around five priority areas:

  • Clarity of choice and protection for consumers

  • Making it easier for small businesses to operate online and sell across borders

  • Ensuring the internet is safe and secure, especially for children

  • Supporting our digital entrepreneurs and boosting the use of big data

  • Allowing consumers to travel with the digital content they have bought

Currently the digital market place is fragmented with member states having their own set of unique laws about what is allowed and what is not. This means that businesses find it hard to sell across borders. In fact only 8% of UK SMEs sell their services to consumers and businesses in other European Union countries.

But the issue spans beyond business. Consumers too are affected by discrepancies within the marketplace. This reduces access to the media - such as music and movies - that they have paid for, and increases the likelihood of piracy. There is also an increasing need for clear and consistent laws regarding privacy and security. Only 38% of consumers feel comfortable buying internationally from EU member states.

By developing a digital single market we hope to cut red tape and increase the confidence of consumers to make the European Union a strong and truly accessible digital economy.

The debate for what needs to change is ongoing with legislation already proposed. Conservative MEPs are campaigning for the digital single market to be built around five key priorities:

  • Clarity of choice and protection for consumers

  • Increased access to digital technology for business

  • Increased safety online

  • Increased support of innovators

  • Increased access to creative content

How will this help the UK?

According to e-commerce Europe, the UK has the largest e-commerce market in Europe, valued at over €100 billion.

The UK is very much a global leader within the digital industry and stands to gain much from the proposed changes. By reducing red tape British businesses will have access to a market of over 500 million consumers.

British consumers would also benefit with increased protection, security, and rights to access digital content across all EU borders.

Please sign-up to my email updates via the homepage for further information on the campaign.

For further information on the work Conservative MEPs are doing on the Digital Single Market please do also visit the Campaign Page on the Conservative MEPs website: http://conservativeeurope.com/key-messages/conservative-meps-campaign-for-the-rights-of-business-and-consumers-within-the-digital-single-market