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UK government welcomes draft European Commission’s data adequacy decision




Today’s draft decision paved the way for a continuous free flow of data between the EU and the UK, following months of discussion. The UK now urges the EU to make a final data adequacy decision by fulfilling its declared commitment to expedite completion of the technology approval process. As soon as possible, this provides certainty to businesses, enables ongoing cooperation between the UK and the EU and ensures that law enforcement agencies keep our citizens safe.

The government recognizes the UK’s high data protection standards and welcomes the draft data adequacy decision of the European Commission as it deems appropriate.

The UK currently has the same world-class data protection system as the European Union, so it makes sense for the Commission to consider it appropriate.

The EU already properly recognizes other countries around the world, including Argentina, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay, and the UK freely exchanges data with them.

With positive data adequacy decisions in accordance with both the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED), personal data can be transferred from the European Union (EU) and the wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK.

Smooth international data flow is essential in a hyper-connected world. They support the exchange of information and ideas that support trade, innovation and investment, support law enforcement in combating crime, and promote health and scientific research, as well as the provision of critical public services that share personal data.

The technical verification of the draft feasibility determination will help ensure that UK companies and organizations in everything from logistics to legal services to healthcare to human resources continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without additional compliance costs. This avoids potential knock-on effects on consumers and can promote UK startups and small businesses that operate in the EU market and sell to EU customers.

The UK officially provided comprehensive explanatory material to the Commission almost a year ago when conformity assessments began in March 2020. The UK has already recognized EU and EEA member states as appropriate as part of an effort to establish a smooth transition. The UK starts with the block and manages the data flow objectively.

Since then, UK officials, headed by the Department of Digital, Cultural, Media and Sports (DCMS), have carefully and completely repeated the UK’s legal and regulatory framework, and undoubtedly have a series of discussions with the European Commission to demonstrate that the UK is clear. Proceeded. Meets EU data adequacy requirements.

The draft decision released by the Commission today is shared with the European Data Protection Commission for non-binding comments before being submitted to EU member states for official approval.

The UK has spoken to the EU in a timely manner, but the Commission did not finalize a draft decision in time to complete the adoption process until the end of the transition period. For this reason, a time-limited bridging mechanism for personal data flow has been agreed as part of the UK/EU trade and cooperation agreement. This allows current personal data to continue to flow for up to six months, as before the end of the Brexit transition period, and the EU completes the adequacy process.

The UK government now urges the EU to quickly complete this technical process to adopt and formulate these adequacy decisions as soon as possible.

Secretary of State Digital Oliver Dowden said:

I welcome the announcement of this draft decision, which correctly reflects the UK’s commitment to high data protection standards and paves the way for official approval.

While the EU’s progress in this area was slower than we had hoped for, we’re excited to reach this important milestone through months of constructive conversations that have set up a robust data protection framework.

Now, I urge the EU to deliver on its commitment to expedite completion of the technology approval process so that businesses and organizations on both sides can gain a clear advantage.

Julian David, CEO of techUK, said:

The European Commission’s decision that the UK’s data protection regime provides the same level of protection as the EU GDPR reflects the UK’s high data protection standards.

Today’s decision is welcomed by the technology sector, which has clarified the importance of mutual data adequacy agreements since the day after the referendum.

Ensuring data adequacy in conjunction with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will provide a solid foundation for digital trade with the EU, including strong non-discrimination provisions and positive data flow provisions, giving companies confidence in their investments.


The linking mechanism remains until June 30 or until the adequacy decision takes effect, whichever is earlier. Britain has a long and proud tradition of protecting privacy rights. In the 1970s, the UK developed a pioneering committee to investigate the protection of personal data, and in 1981 the UK first signed the European Council 108 Convention. In recent years, the UK has played an active role in the development of GDPR and LEDs. . The UK government will continue to promote high data protection standards. Read the European Commission’s press release here. Read the GDPR decision here. Read Law Enforcement Guidance Decisions here.

The DCMS press office is located at 020 7211 2210.

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