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Data adequacy and its implications for the UK-EU relationship examined

15 March 2024

The House of Lords European Affairs Committee, chaired by Lord Ricketts, has launched an inquiry into data adequacy and its implications for the UK-EU relationship.

The inquiry

The inquiry comes ahead of the upcoming renewal decision to continue allowing the free flow of commercial and criminal investigation related personal data to and from the bloc, which was granted by the EU post-Brexit under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Law Enforcement Directive.

The inquiry will focus on how current arrangements are working in practice, including benefits and shortcomings, as well as the possible implications of any divergence in the respective data protection regimes of the UK and EU.

The inquiry will focus, in particular, on the following themes:

  • Assessment of the existing adequacy arrangement underpinning data flows between the UK and the European Union
  • Possible challenges to UK-EU data adequacy regime
  • Implications of a no or disrupted UK-EU data adequacy scenario
  • Lessons learned from other countries’ experiences with the adequacy system and engagement with the European Commission’s process

The committee invites interested individuals to submit written evidence by midnight on Friday 31 May 2024. Public evidence sessions are expected to take place between March and June, and the Committee aims to report to the House by July 2024.

Chair's quote

Lord Ricketts, Chair of the European Affairs Committee, said:

“The free flow of data between the UK and EU is vital for trade and economic relations, and for effective law enforcement cooperation. Currently, the transfer of commercial and criminal investigation data is based on an EU adequacy decision which expires next year. Without it, maintaining data flows between the UK and the EU could become less straightforward for businesses and, therefore, have an impact on the UK economy. It could also have an impact on UK-EU security cooperation as it could lead to restrictions on the flow of data for law enforcement purposes between the UK and the EU.”

“My Committee has therefore decided to examine the way the current arrangement works, the factors that will influence a future data adequacy decision, and the implications should that decision be negative.”

“The Committee encourages anyone with expertise in or experience of the matters under consideration in this inquiry to submit written evidence. The wider the range of evidence we receive, the more firmly based will be our conclusions.”

Further information

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