We knew leaving the EU would weaken us. Now we can see it will limit the ability of the government to rein in big tech
What do lipstick, cravats, gold chains and poker chips have in common? The answer is that they are among a host of items that the US is threatening to impose punitive import tariffs on if the UK proceeds with its plan to implement a tax on big tech. The new duties are intended to raise $325m – the amount the US government believes the exchequer will raise from the 2% tax on revenues of tech firms.
In some respects, this is just part of the merry-go-round in international trade (though actual merry-go-rounds have also been slapped with new tariffs) as countries ruthlessly pursue their national interests. But it matters because it reveals Britain’s newfound weakness in international trade from outside the EU – and how that weakness may limit the ability of the government to curb the power of big tech.