DMA publishes no-deal Brexit toolkit

Mark Johnson's picture

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) is calling on UK businesses large and small to step-up their preparations in the event of no-deal Brexit to ensure data transfers with EU member states are not affected.

To help businesses prepare for a variety of Brexit scenarios, the DMA has published its ‘Brexit Toolkit’ and made it available to all organisations. 

It features the latest advice and best practice on European data transfers in a post-Brexit world.

No-deal scenario

If the UK and EU leave on a no-deal basis on 31 October, there will be a cessation of the free flow of data between the UK and EU. 

The burden then falls to businesses to resolve data transfer processes themselves, which could prove costly and put more of a strain on resources.

This scenario will be extremely damaging to the data and marketing industry, as well as other industries, as the EU would no longer recognise the UK’s data protection standards creating barriers that did not exist before. 

This could affect the UK’s global status as a leader in data, marketing and technology.

Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the Data & Marketing Association said: “The DMA does not believe the UK can retain its position as a global leader in data, marketing and technology if we do not have an adequacy deal on future data flows with Europe. 

“The disruption to the free flow of data between the UK and EU would be very damaging to businesses and the UK data economy. 

“This could have further knock-on effects on the UK public, with the possibility of jobs moving to the EU and investment also decreasing.”

Data issues

For example, a UK-based company that has EU customers may use an EU-based data centre, but the information is processed at the UK HQ. 

If the UK leaves the EU without a data deal this company would lose access to its own data, as transfers from the EU to UK would be prohibited. 

The company would need to find a new supplier or may move operations to the EU, so it can efficiently serve EU-based customers and not have to worry about transferring data from the EU to the UK. Therefore, it is imperative that the free flow of data is maintained.

Prior to 25 May 2018, businesses and industries across the UK invested significant amounts of money, time and resources to harmonise data protection standards across the EU to comply with the GDPR.

Post-Brexit, the UK will need to apply for a data adequacy deal, which could take months or even years to negotiate.

The EU and UK cannot seek a data adequacy agreement until after 31 October, as this is when the UK is no longer a member of the EU and will have a ‘third country’ status.

If the UK and EU can reach an agreement on a Brexit deal, there will then be a two year ‘future relationship’ negotiation period where the UK retains the current trading relationship it has with the EU. In this time, UK-based businesses can also continue data transfers with EU member states.  

The UK will need to agree a Brexit deal so that an adequacy agreement can be reached within the allotted two-year period, preventing any break in the free-flow of data.

Aldighieri added: “The DMA’s Brexit Toolkit provides guidance to help businesses transform issues arising from Brexit into opportunities, and help the creative industries prepare for various post-Brexit scenarios.”

The DMA will continue to provide guidance and research reports highlighting best practice, helping the creative industries to thrive post-Brexit.

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