Pressure mounts on ministers to secure Brexit data deal

DataIQ News

UK business bosses are stepping up their campaign to lobby the Government to use Brexit negotiations to seek an "adequecy decision" with the EU  or put the country's burgeoning data economy at risk.

In a keynote speech to the CBI’s National Cyber Security Conference in London, CBI deputy director-general Josh Hardie will stress the need  for an interim agreement to ensure that the exchange of data with the EU can continue smoothly after March 2019.

The CBI's call follows similar demands from the House of Lords, TechUK and the DMA amid growing concerns that the data industry - estimated to be worth £240bn to the UK economy - could fall off a cliff edge post-Brexit.

Hardie will say: “The UK Government has taken the right steps by introducing the new Data Protection Bill and committing to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“But in the long-term, we need an ‘adequacy decision’ with the EU, where the UK can prove our data laws and business environment meet EU standards.

“Without a firm legal basis for data processing, we risk leaving business leaders scratching their heads, facing fines on one hand and extra costs to comply on the other.  Trying hard to plan beyond Brexit but not knowing what to expect.

“With Brexit on the horizon, the UK is approaching a data cliff-edge. GDPR comes into force on May 25 next year – just 44 weeks before we leave the EU. So, when the clock strikes midnight on March 29 2019, we need a bridge to the new future which keeps things simple, minimises disruption and maximises continuity."

“This isn’t just an academic argument.  It really will affect jobs, growth and prosperity across the UK. But if we can get the right transition deal in place, we can protect our data-driven businesses and the £240bn they bring to our economy."