This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

EU member states have agreed that British standards for the protection of personal data are good enough to allow data to continue to flow between the EU and the UK.

Reuters reports that the European Commission will now sign off on a data adequacy deal before the end of a six-month grace period that kept data moving between the EU and the UK after the end of transition.

Interim arrangement

Before Brexit, the UK was automatically considered aligned to EU data protection standards.

Interim data flow arrangements were agreed along with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement reached in December 2020 to allow personal data to continue to flow freely from the EU’s 27 member states to the UK. Uncertainty remained over what would happen at the end of the grace period.

Multi-million hit avoided

The UK government had estimated that Britain’s £240bn data economy could have lost £85bn if the deal had not been concluded, Decision Marketing reports.

The deal will be reviewed every four years, with Brussels keeping an eye on any deviation from its data standards by the UK.

Business and data industry groups welcomed the decision, reports Research Live. Chris Combemale, chief executive of the Data and Marketing Association (DMA), said: “A positive decision on data adequacy is a huge relief for thousands of businesses across the UK.”

Meanwhile the Independent today reports that in the event of a UK-EU trade war amid tensions over implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol, Brussels could choose to shut off the flow of security and business data between the EU and the UK.