techUK Responds to Prime Minister's Security Speech

Commenting on the Prime Minister's speech about the UK's future security relationship with the EU post-Brexit, Julian David, techUK CEO, said:


"The Prime Minister is right that nothing within the complex Brexit negotiations should be allowed to stand in the way of the security cooperation needed to keep people safe. We need a close partnership to tackle the threats we face, from global terror, to drug trafficking to increasing cyber security challenges.

"Critical to delivering this partnership is securing cross border data sharing between law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies. It is very welcome that the Prime Minister was so clear on the importance of data sharing. Many of the threats we face do not recognise national borders, so it is in the manifest interests of both the UK and the rest of the EU that these agencies are able to share information on threats across borders quickly and efficiently but this requires the U.K. and EU to develop a robust legal basis for cross-border data exchange between agencies, to replace current frameworks.

"It was also helpful for the Prime Minister to take this opportunity to reaffirm the Government's committment to seek ongoing cooperation and alignment with the EU on data protection matters, with a continued role for the ICO in the future. We are glad to hear that the Government is ready to begin work on this with the Commission now. This work will be crucial to ensure businesses have clarity and certinaity that the UK's position as a global hub for data flows continues.

"It is also positive that the Prime Minister made reference to the value of future cooperation in EU space programmes. The U.K. has played a leading role in the development of Galileo and Copernicus programmes but current concerns around security are already making it harder for UK space and satellite businesses to participate. This issue urgently needs to be agreed so that UK scientific expertise can continue to engage with European allies."

"With the clock ticking, urgent consideration must now be given to formulating the kind of partnership the Prime Minister has outlined, in particular to ensure that data and information can be shared between agencies with a sound legal underpinning. Information sharing with our European allies increases the safety and security of us all."


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