The UK will have to renegotiate data protection relationships with EEA countries

PL&B has now received reassurances from the government about the UK’s future relationship with the EU. As a response to a letter by PL&B CEO, Stewart Dresner, to the Prime Minister and other ministers arguing that from a data protection point of view, it would be best for the UK to remain in the EEA, the government says that this is not possible due to its commitment to end the four freedoms of the Single Market, including free movement of labour from the EU. The government says that at the end of the transitional period, the EEA agreement will no longer be applicable and the UK will seek a new arrangement with the EEA countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The government says that due to the arrangements agreed in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement at the end of November last year, and the political declaration, there is nothing that businesses need to do differently. The EU will start its assessment of the UK’s adequacy for international data transfers as soon as possible after Brexit. The UK is ready to start these assessments, the government says. “The EU have agreed not to treat UK data and information differently on the grounds that the UK is no longer a member state, and as such, the UK’s data and information will continue to be protected to high standards.”

The government will pursue ongoing regulatory cooperation between the ICO and the EU Data Protection Authorities.

Stewart Dresner’s letter and the government’s response.

Read more about these developments, the government’s guidance on a possible no-deal Brexit etc. in the next issue of PL&B UK Report.