May 23, 2018 / 4:32 PM / a year ago

UK wants new EU data partnership with its regulator playing a role

FILE PHOTO: The Union Flag and a European Union flag fly near the Elizabeth Tower, housing the Big Ben bell, during the anti-Brexit 'People's March for Europe', in Parliament Square in central London, Britain September 9, 2017. REUTERS/Tolga Akmen

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain wants to agree a special deal on data-sharing laws with the European Union after Brexit that would enable its own regulator to continue to play an important role in the region’s decisions.

A failure to maintain the flow of information between Britain and the EU is one of many concerns facing multinational companies as Britain prepares to leave the bloc.

According to a presentation on the government’s website, London wants a new agreement that would build on the standard idea of “adequacy” whereby the European Commission recognizes the levels of protection provided by non-EU countries.

“An agreement on data protection will be crucial for the EU and the UK, and any disruption to cross-border data flows would be costly to all partners,” the presentation said.

Britain has said it wants to agree a more comprehensive relationship on data with the EU due to the role it has taken in developing GDPR, the new data protection rules which come into force this month.

“The standard adequacy approach would not enable national data protection authorities to cooperate as effectively to enforce data protection principles,” it said.

“We therefore believe a new model would better deliver both UK and EU interests, and could provide more stability and certainty as an agreement between governments.”

The document said Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) should maintain an appropriate ongoing role on the European Data Protection Board to prevent consumers and businesses from having to deal with parallel processes to resolve data protection disputes.

Any central role for the ICO is likely to prove problematic for officials in the EU, however, as they have insisted that Britain should not be allowed to pick and choose which aspects of the EU it wants to continue working with.

Reporting by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mark Potter

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