My Lords, were we to leave the European Union, the EU would examine our data protection regime to satisfy itself that it would be safe for the EU 27 to continue to exchange electronic data with the UK. This continued exchange of data is essential not only for law enforcement and counter- terrorism purposes but for commercial transactions.
The Government have recently passed the Data Protection Act 2018, which not only provides the necessary infrastructure to enable the UK to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, a piece of EU legislation, but ensures that the UK complies with EU standards of data protection in relation to law enforcement and national security that are not covered by GDPR. In other words, the UK is ensuring that it complies with all EU data protection standards, so as to guarantee that it will be issued with a certificate of adequacy that will enable continued exchange of electronic data if we leave the EU.
If, as a result of this Bill or the treaties associated with it, UK companies were required to provide law enforcement agencies in other countries with personal data covered by the Data Protection Act and/or GDPR, and those foreign law enforcement agencies’ data protection standards were deemed by the EU to be inadequate, there is the potential for the EU to withdraw its adequacy certificate from the UK. Basically, if member states of the EU share data with the UK, and the UK shares that data under this Bill with law enforcement agencies that have inadequate data protection standards, the EU might stop sharing data with the UK. This amendment is designed to ensure that this does not happen. I beg to move.