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Will post-Brexit Britain be a race to the bottom in rights & standards?

  • Open Gov Hub 1110 Vermont Avenue Northwest Suite 500 Washington, DC, 20005 United States (map)

After a populist vote not too dissimilar to Trump's, Britain is soon to be leaving the European Union, on a promise to relaunch a new era of free trade. High on the agenda is deepening relations with the USA, seen as a natural partner that shares a common history and socio-economic outlook. It is unclear how this will work out in practice, but there are concerns that desperate to form new trade links, the UK will agree to weaken standards on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. The British government is even considering joining the discredited Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Javier Ruiz from the UK-based Open Rights Group (ORG) will give an update on the situation with a view to start building stronger relations between civil society groups in the US and the UK in order to better deal with any issues raised by this renewed strategic convergence. ORG are quite focused on digital rights, but there are wider problems of transparency and accountability. The UK government has already started informal talks and they need help from Washington groups to monitor the situation.

Some questions Javier will address:

Why should US groups care about post-Brexit Britain?

Are Brexit and Trump two sides of the same coin?

How can we build low overhead efficient collaboration between US and UK civil society groups?

How can Washington transparency and acountability organisations help monitor informal trade talks?

Javier leads on policy at the UK based advocacy organisation Open Rights Group. His recent work has covered transparency, privacy, state surveillance and copyright reforms. Previously he worked as a union organiser, journalist and campaigner building citizen media platforms and supporting the digital activities of grassroots organisations in Europe and Latin America. His other interests include community wind energy and bilingual education.