26 Sep 2019

UK and French tech trade associations call for Data Adequacy Agreement

techUK and Syntec Numerique have published a joint paper calling for continued free flow of data after the UK leaves the EU.

techUK and Syntec Numerique have today published a joint paper which outlines the importance of data transfers between the UK and France and calls for the continued free flow of data between the UK and the EU post-Brexit.

Once the UK leaves the EU, 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 France support a close relationship between the two countries. French ports are the main entry and exit point for ferry-borne trade between the UK and mainland Europe, which involves large quantities of data transfer. Additionally, French company Veolia has won two contracts for recycling and waste management in London with are worth over £338 million and will require various HR and business data to flow between France and the UK.

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 UK and France are close economic partners. The ability to transfer personal data between countries is vital for citizens and businesses on both sides of the Channel. While the UK’s future relationship with the EU remains unclear, it is of utmost importance that we avoid a cliff-edge for data transfers. A UK-EU adequacy agreement is by far the best solution and we urge the governments of both countries to ensure an adequacy decision is concluded as soon as possible.”


Additionally, Philippe Tavernier, Délégué général de Syntec Numérique, said:

The digitalization of economy makes data flows a central element to trade relations with the UK. In the context of lack of progress in the Brexit negotiations, the priority lies in securing these flows. To that purpose, an adequacy decision must be implemented without delay.” 

The joint techUK and Syntec Numerique paper is available to be downloaded below. If you would like to discuss these issues in greater detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch.