techUK and NLdigital have today published a joint paper which outlines the importance of data transfers between the UK and the Netherlands and calls for the continued free flow of data between the UK and the EU after 31 December 2020.
Once the transition period is over at the end of the year, the automatic ability for personal data to flow between the UK and EU Member States will come to an end. In an increasingly digital economy, the transfer of personal data has become crucial for businesses of every size and sector. Ensuring the continued free flow of data has been a priority issue for techUK ever since the 2016 EU referendum result, given the importance to the technology industry and the wider economy.
Data transfers between the UK and the Netherlands support a close relationship between the two countries. The majority of trade in services between the Netherlands and the UK is in financial, ICT and travel services; UK consumed more than £7 billion of this kind of services in 2018. This trade relies heavily on the transfer of personal data between the UK and the Netherlands. Netherlands - UK services trade has shown steady growth over the past three years. It’s estimated that about half of all trade in services is “digitally-enabled” delivered through digital channels and relying on supporting information, such as personal data.
techUK has been clear that the best solution to ensure frictionless data transfers can continue is through mutual adequacy agreements between the UK and the EU. Adequacy agreements allow personal data to be transferred between third countries and the EU, once a full assessment of domestic data protection laws has taken place.
Commenting on the launch of the joint paper, Julian David, techUK CEO said:
“The Netherlands and the United Kingdom are historic partners and our economies are strongly inter-linked. The free flow of data underpins much of the economic activity between the two countries. We are delighted to publish this joint paper calling on the European Commission and the UK government to conclude positive mutual adequacy decisions by the end of the year to avoid disruption for our businesses and consumers.”
Additionally, Lotte de Bruijn, Director of NLdigital, said:
“NLdigital strongly believes mutual adequacy agreements are the best way forward to maintain data flows between the UK and The Netherlands after Brexit. We are happy to work together with techUK on sending a joint message to the UK government and European Commission, urging them to engage in new negotiations as soon as possible.”
The joint techUK and NLdigital paper is available to download below. If you would like to discuss these issues in greater detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch.