At the end of the transition period, EU legislation will be transposed into national law and any national legislation that respects EU obligations will also be spared. Together, these two elements will form a new law in the United Kingdom, called “EU law” retained. What will happen to the data protection landscape? The RGPD, which will be saved in UK law at the end of the transition period and renamed uk RGPD, will initially be very similar to its EU counterpart. The European Commission said it could “not predict” whether, as part of the ongoing negotiations on a future trade agreement between the two sides, the UK would be able to reach an agreement on the adequacy of data transfers with the EU. “Although the UK has high standards for data protection through the Data Protection Act 2018, which adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in UK law, an EU adequacy decision is not guaranteed,” warns the NEF/UCL report. “The EU`s potential concerns about the UK`s security, surveillance and human rights frameworks, as well as a future trade agreement with the US, make relevance uncertain. In addition, EUUK`s data flows are at the fore of the broader Brexit process and negotiations. The UK Government stated that at the end of the transition period, data transfers from the UK to the EEA would be allowed. She says she will keep that up to date. The UK government intends to recognise the adequacy decisions taken by the European Commission before the end of the transition period. This will allow for continued limited transfers from the UK to most of the organisations, countries, territories or sectors covered by an EU adequacy decision. More information is available in our guidelines on international data transfers at the end of the transition period. This does not mean that the data between the UK and the EU will cease on 1 January 2021, at least not immediately.
It is possible that a draft decision could be submitted to the European Data Protection Committee for advice, Walker suggests. It would take some time and some kind of interim agreement, perhaps in the form of a memorandum of understanding, could be put in place to maintain the status quo. In theory, there is no reason not to immediately grant the UK an agreement on data adequacy, given that it is the only country to think that it is equivalent to the EU after implementing its rules under the Data Protection Act (2018), among others. The lack of agreement so far therefore indicates that the data have become another political negotiating partner in the search for a trade agreement.