BEERG: EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Says UK to Be on Outside of Data Transfer Regulation Looking in

June 01, 2018

In a sternly-worded speech, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, closed the door on the UK having the status of anything but a "third nation" with regard to application of the General Data Protection Regulation post-Brexit.

What this means: For personal data to flow from the EU to the UK without any additional safeguards, the UK must receive a so-called “adequacy decision”—a unilateral determination by the EU that a non-EU country’s protections meet the GDPR requirements.  

In an illustration of the EU’s view of Brexit, Barnier noted: "[L]et's be clear: Brexit is not, and never will be, in the interest of EU businesses.  And it will especially run counter to the interests of our businesses if we abandon our decision-making autonomy.  This autonomy allows us to set standards for the whole of the EU, but also to see these standards being replicated around the world… The United Kingdom decided to leave our harmonised system of decision-making and enforcement.  It must respect the fact that the European Union will continue to work on the basis of this system, which has allowed us to build a single market, and which allows us to deepen our single market in response to new challenges.”

On a lighter note: The Advocate Generals of the Court of Justice of the European Union published an opinion stating that relatives of the deceased can claim unused leave pay.  (Whether that creates a joint employer situation under EU law is unclear.)

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