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EU and Brexit split, report warns of personal data risks harming UK business and security




The Conservative’s former interior secretary has supported calls to scrap Boris Johnson’s successor plan to leave the EU on data regulation, warning that it will cost businesses billions of dollars.

A new report by former Conservative MP Sir Timothy Kirkhope today warned that Johnsons plans for a new UK-specific rulebook on data security could block the UK from the free exchange of information within Europe and undermine its protections against international crime. . and terrorism.

According to the report, businesses could be shut down in lucrative markets and moved outside the UK to avoid additional barriers to trade, and police and security agencies could lose access to suspect criminal records, fingerprints, DNA or sensitive information about car registrations. The report warned that .

In an interview with The Independent, author Sir Kirkhope, who led the Conservative Party in the European Parliament for six years and played a key role in drafting the EU’s GDPR data security system, said Johnson’s ideological proposition was Brexit.

But he said it could wreak havoc on the trade in personal data-based services, which in 2018 amounted to $85 billion in exports from the UK to the EU and $42 billion in imports from the EU.

And he warned that Johnson’s lighter regulatory system could mean putting personal data into corporate hands without citizen consent in a way prevented by the GDPR.

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has warned against allowing British agencies to be blocked from EU-level security agreements, such as the Prm Convention on Cooperation in the Fight Against Terrorism and Cross-Border Crime, which rely on data adequacy agreements with Brussels.

Supporting the report, she said that efforts should be made to maintain the free flow of data for the sake of security in both the UK and the EU.

As a former Home Secretary, I realized for myself how important it is to have access to Prm, the European Criminal Records Information System, and other databases that help solve felony crimes.

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd endorsed the report.


Data relevance was an important part of the Mr Johnsons Brexit deal negotiations. The European Commission has officially confirmed that UK legislation in June 2021 provided equal protection to EU directives in the region.

Executive Committee Vice-Chairman Vera Jourova said the UK could withdraw its position at any time if it deviates too far from European norms.

But less than two months later, digital, cultural, media and sports departments began advising on how the UK could adopt an agile and adaptable data protection law to reshape its regulatory framework outside the EU. Then, in January, the Benefits of Brexit report came out, outlining plans for a pro-growth and innovation-friendly data protection framework.

Prime Minister Johnson boasted that this could help boost the UK economy by $11 billion in deregulation due to Brexit.

But today’s report, published by the Conservative European Forum and viewed by The Independent, warns that the potential loss of data flow will cost UK businesses even more.

The UK government has warned against jeopardizing data flows to and from the EU.


Sir Kirkhope said it would be essential to take another look when Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak reaches 10 Downing Street and overturn the UK government’s current policy.

The UK government is telling voters that the UK has a right to do its own thing after Brexit, he told The Independent. While it may seem very attractive to most people’s ears, the truth of the matter is that once deviating from international standards, it inevitably carries with it enormous costs and enormous threats to the business.

Without the free flow of data, people can struggle with social media accounts, internet purchases, or international money transfers. And businesses may need to renegotiate their current GDPR compliance agreements.

Some would like to run the UK and EU regimes in parallel, while others may move their activities to the EU to avoid additional administrative burdens, the report warns.

Sir Kirkhope emphasized that he would not take sides in the race for Conservative leadership and hoped that the two rivals would prefer pragmatism over promises to sever ties with Brussels.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are being urged to scrap Boris Johnson’s plans.


But he said: I heard Liz Trus say we can get rid of all this EU bureaucracy. Getting rid of the EU’s bureaucratic format when it comes to data could seriously damage business and make us look like a thumbs up internationally and less attractive to investors.

His warning was stated by Roger Barker, director of policy on the board:

Given the sheer volume of UK-EU imports and exports that depend on the free flow of data, maintaining a high level of equivalence between the EU and UK data protection regimes is highly desirable for UK business. The government has not been able to convincingly demonstrate how regulatory differences on data protection provide a net benefit to UK businesses.

The UK Chamber of Commerce says the data adequacy agreement signed with the EU in 2021 provides an important basis for the continuous flow of data between the two markets and the UK government.

William Bain, head of trade policy, told The Independent: Businesses should ensure that all plans for a full impact assessment, the details of the proposed phase-in period, and regulatory differences will be commensurate with maintaining a data relevance relationship with the EU.

While acknowledging corporate complaints that the GDPR is overly restrictive, Sir Kirkhope said the industry has no desire to add another competitive enforcement system.

He said we can’t see a situation where we have to at least be more rigid and less flexible than we are now to do our own thing.

In the current economic situation, anything that actually negatively affects our trade seems completely unacceptable.

And he, backed by the Conservative Party’s former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, urged him to abandon Johnson’s approach, whether Sunak or Truss becomes the next prime minister.

The free flow of data is essential for our economy, national security and future relations between the UK and the EU, Grieve said.

I urge the new government to change its trajectory by putting pragmatism and national interest ahead of ideology. Sir Kirkhope’s report presents an opportunity to work with European partners to restore trust and prevent further harm.




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