NEWS13 May 2021

European parliament urged to approve post-Brexit data adequacy

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UK, EUROPE & US – Several business groups, including the Advertising Association and the US Chamber of Commerce, have urged the European parliament to vote in favour of UK-EU data adequacy, saying that interrupting the transfer of data would have “substantial” negative consequences.

Big Ben and EU flag

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, the UK and the EU agreed to temporarily keep existing data transfer arrangements in place – until 1st July at the latest – while negotiations continued over a permanent adequacy solution.

The European Commission published its draft decisions on adequacy in February, concluding that the UK’s data protection law and practice “ensures an essentially equivalent level of protection” to that guaranteed under GDPR and the Law Enforcement Directive.

This week, the European parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee passed a resolution on the Commission’s proposal, with 37 members of the European parliament (MEPs) in favour, 30 against and one abstention. The committee said the Commission should amend its draft decision to bring it in line with EU court rulings and opinions recently raised by the European Data Protection Board.

A statement signed by 16 industry organisations, dated 11th May, said: “The global business community that our organisations jointly represent is disappointed by the negative vote on the draft EU-UK adequacy decisions in the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE Committee).”

Ahead of a plenary vote taking place on 20th May, the organisations urged the European parliament to “recognise the high standard of the UK’s data protection regime, as well as the impressive work done by the European Commission, the European Data Protection Board, and the Member States in striving for a timely adoption of the draft adequacy decisions by the end of May”.

The vote is needed to ensure that a new agreement for data adequacy is put in place before the end of the temporary extension period at the end of June.

The groups said: “The negative consequences of an interruption in data flows would be substantial to businesses in the UK and EU, given the EU remains the UK’s main trading partner.”