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UK Comes Last In Queue For Post-Brexit Data Deal With EU

The UK is at the “end of the queue” among the countries waiting to reach a data flows agreement with the EU, according to Financial Times.

Benzinga · 12/26/2019 11:32

The UK is at the “end of the queue” among the countries waiting to reach a data flows agreement with the EU, according to Financial Times.

What Happened

Discussions over the future trade relationship between the UK and the EU in the aftermath of Brexit is scheduled to start in 2020.

But with the UK at the “end of the queue” among countries negotiating data deals with the EU, chances of the UK and the EU reaching an agreement on data before the trade talks start next year is very slim, according a senior European data official.

The UK was “13th in the row” among the countries negotiating data deals with Brussels after Brexit, said the EU’s new data protection supervisor, Wojciech Wiewiorowski.

Allowing the UK to skip the queue “would be a little bit unfair towards those who have already prepared themselves for this process,” Wiewiorowski added.

Why It Matters

In order to allow British companies to continue transferring personal data across Europe, the EU requires the UK to prove that it offers adequate privacy protections for EU citizens.   

Officials in Brussels, however, have earlier warned that reviewing the UK’s data “adequacy” could take “years.”

“We will have to assess law enforcement bodies,” said Europe’s data protection supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli in February.

“Adequacy findings take a lot of work even if [the UK] is fully compliant with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), said Mr. Buttarelli at the time.

What’s Next

The UK said it will continue to allow data flows to the EU in a “no deal” Brexit scenario. But the EU requires legal guarantees to allow that to happen, according to Financial Times.