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Same as it ever was

Posted by on July 4, 2016.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe has laid out Britain’s IT security and data protection plans in the post-Brexit era. It is simple and consistent with Britain’s historical approach: we don’t know and it all depends.

That, frankly, is amazing. She doesn’t even know if the UK will proceed with GDPR. It seems to depend on whether the EU allows us to remain within the Single Market now that we are outside of the European Union. Well, obviously they should and obviously we should, and obviously we should implement GDPR.

But there’s strong feelings involved. Some European politicians are afraid for the very survival of their jobs — there is a distinct fear that Britain’s secession will kick-start further withdrawals.

It has already been suggested that Britain will not be allowed access to the Single Market without agreeing to the free movement of labour — which is why Britain voted to leave; so that won’t happen. European pique, you could say.

But the Baroness seems to think that GDPR is card to be played in a hand of poker.

On one hand if the UK remains within the single market EU rules on data might continue to apply fully in the UK. On other scenarios we will need to replace all EU rules with national ones. Currently it seems unlikely we will know the answer to these questions before the withdrawal negotiations get under way.
Speech by Baroness Neville-Rolfe

That seems to suggest that if the Europeans do what we want, we’ll do what they want. But possibly not otherwise. British pique, you could say.

But don’t worry – everything will settle down and continue. It’ll be just as if we were still in the EU. Britain won’t get what it wants from Europe; Europe won’t get what it wants from Britain; and it will all become one big sulk. Same as it ever was.

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Submitted in: Expert Views, Kevin Townsend's opinions |