Press Releases EPP Group: Data protection in UK equivalent to data protection in EU

EPP Group: Data protection in UK equivalent to data protection in EU

The Socialists, Greens and Communists in the European Parliament are again trying to make fighting cross-border crime more difficult and hamper the life of European companies by trying to stop continued data sharing between the EU and the United Kingdom.

For the EPP Group, the United Kingdom remains a close partner of the European Union, even after Brexit. Free flow of personal data is crucial for European companies and for our police to cooperate in the fight against serious crime. If the European Commission does not formally recognise data protection in the UK as equivalent to the EU’s, as the Socialists, Greens and Communists want, the transfer of personal data will become cumbersome, bureaucratic and expensive.

“The UK adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Law Enforcement Directive. Brexit hasn’t changed this. National replications of both laws remain in place in the UK. This means that UK standards of data protection are equivalent to European standards. We need to take these crucial adequacy decisions to avoid disruption of data exchanges between law enforcement authorities, legal uncertainty for businesses and the risk of hundreds of millions of increased costs to do business. At the same time, I strongly call on the European Commission to closely monitor UK data protection laws and practices and take necessary measures when needed”, said Tom Vandenkendelaere, the EPP Group MEP responsible for the topic.

“This is why my call is very clear. Don’t pull the brakes on our cooperation with the UK against organised crime and stifle our European companies and law enforcement authorities”, he continued.

“With the GDPR, data protection in the European Union is of the highest level worldwide, also in relation to third countries. That is precisely why data protection adequacy decisions are crucial. They ensure that companies and law enforcement authorities can safely exchange data within a clear legal framework. European citizens rightly expect us to take data protection seriously, both in Europe and with partners such as the UK”, concluded Vandenkendelaere.

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