EU Commission issues a positive draft decision on UK adequacy

The European Commission published, on 19 February, two draft adequacy decisions for transfers of personal data to the United Kingdom under the General Data Protection Regulation (88 pages) and the Law Enforcement Directive (51 pages).

The drafts will now be studied by the EU Data Protection Authorities at the European Data Protection Board which will issue a non-binding opinion, before being presented to EU Member States for formal approval.

Data transfers now rely on the EU-UK interim agreement which expires on 30 June 2021, by which time adoption of the adequacy process should have been completed. These decisions will apply for a period of four years from their entry into force.

The UK government, in its press release, criticises the EU for slow progress and missing the original deadline: “The UK government now urges the EU to swiftly complete this technical process for adopting and formalising these adequacy decisions as early as possible.”

Didier Reynders, European Union Commissioner for Justice, said: “A flow of secure data between the EU and the UK is crucial to maintain close trade ties and cooperate effectively in the fight against crime. Today we launch the process to achieve that. We have thoroughly checked the privacy system that applies in the UK after it has left the EU. Now European Data Protection Authorities will thoroughly examine the draft texts. EU citizens' fundamental right to data protection must never be compromised when personal data travel across the Channel. The adequacy decisions, once adopted, would ensure just that.”

Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “The UK has left the EU, but not the European privacy family.

The EU notes that the UK has committed to remain party to the European Convention on Human Rights and to Council of Europe data protection Convention 108. Adherence to such international obligations is therefore a particularly important element of the assessment on which this decision is based, the Commission says.


  1. European Commission - Draft decision on the adequate protection of personal data by the United Kingdom - General Data Protection Regulation
  2. European Commission - Draft decision on the adequate protection of personal data by the United Kingdom: Law Enforcement Directive

Read more about this topic in PL&B UK and International Reports.