In his latest grilling by the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, the Minister also called for cross-party support for the Data Protection Bill, claiming that was crucial as "there is a very strong degree of consensus around the aim – which is a high-quality data protection regime with unhindered free flow of data between the UK and adequate other countries, notably the EU upon exit”.
Hancock also reaffirmed his commitment to GDPR and claimed that that the UK should easily attain EU data protection adequacy status. However, he said he was limited in what he could say about the data flow negotiations because “we have not seen the EU’s negotiating mandate yet”.
When quizzed about the timescale for the UK attaining the adequacy status, Hancock responded: “It is critical that we have uninterrupted, unhindered free flow of data for the UK and the EU. This is where the time-limited implementation period [after the Brexit date in March 2019] is important.
“Adequacy is not the only way of ensuring the unhindered, free flow of data. We are also proposing, at a technical level, that the UK Information Commissioner's Office continues to be involved to make sure that UK expertise in this area, which is very great, continues to inform EU decisions.”