Amendment to the Motion | European Union (Future Relationship) Bill – Second Reading (and remaining stages) | Lords debates

My Lords, the deal has been struck, and I would like to concentrate on the necessity for a digitally enabled 21st-century border.

For the last decade, the UK has had a comparative advantage in many of the elements of the fourth industrial revolution, not least AI, distributed ledger technology, fintech and cyber. As a result, on 1 January this opportunity—this advantage—now becomes absolutely imperative when it comes to our border provisions. Is my noble friend the Minister aware of the proof of concept around reducing friction in international trade, which I was fortunate enough to be involved in?

I know that we have a great opportunity to deliver at Dover. An excellent, forward-thinking chief executive runs the port there. Also, as other noble Lords have mentioned, there is a key need to get this right around the UK, and that absolutely includes Gibraltar. Will my noble friend the Minister update the House on our 2025 border plans? What will happen in 2021 at scale and at speed to get us to the place where we need to be to have a digitally enabled border right around the UK? Does he agree that, if we get this right, we can enter the 21st year of the 21st century digitally enabled right around the UK, not least at Dover, and look forward with pride from the white cliffs of technology?