Britain wants an early agreement with the EU over data protection to ensure the free flow of crucial information after Brexit.
In its latest position paper ahead of negotiations with Brussels resuming next week, it proposed using an “adequacy” agreement to ensure the flow of information vital to businesses and the police was not interrupted.
Under adequacy agreements, the European Commission recognises levels of protection provided by non-EU countries.
The Government said Britain had been a major player in setting EU data protection rules, called GDPR, which come into force next year.
“The UK has played an important role in developing the EU’s approach to data protection, including by playing a full part in the negotiation of the GDPR,” it said.
“In light of the UK’s unprecedented position, the future deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU could productively build on the existing adequacy model”.
Any interruption in the data flow could cause police to lose crucial intelligence and put companies at a competitive disadvantage.
The adequacy status has been granted to a dozen countries, but negotiations can be lengthy.
The power to revoke any agreement remains with the EU, but the Government believes that the fact that its data rules will be aligned with the EU gives it a head start.
“We want the secure flow of data to be unhindered in the future as we leave the EU,” said Minister for Digital Matt Hancock.
“So a strong future data relationship between the UK and EU, based on aligned data protection rules, is in our mutual interest.”
The Government said it wanted a future new arrangement to allow data to continue to be exchanged in a safe and regulated way; give confidence to businesses, public authorities and individuals; protect the privacy of citizens; and avoid imposing unnecessary costs to businesses.
The digital economy in Britain was worth £118.4bn in 2015, and any disruption in the free flow of data could be costly both to Britain and to the remaining members of the bloc, said Mr Hancock.
The paper was the latest to be published by the Government in recent days. Other papers have looked at the Irish border, a possible customs union in a transitional period and the role of the European Court of Justice.
Source: Sky News