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UK to Implement GDPR Regardless of Brexit

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With the UK’s withdrawal from the EU decided during the June 2016 referendum, questions are being asked about how much life will be affected by the removal of EU regulatory oversight. However, the government has made clear that there will be no sweeping changes, and that, in fact, many aspects of life will remain the same for at least the first five years after the exit agreement is actioned and in place.

One aspect of life that will adhere to EU standards is that of data protection. The government announced that the highly anticipated GDPR would continue to roll out across the United Kingdom, safeguarding data and identities and providing a robust framework for businesses to design their cyber-security systems around. This was confirmed by Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sports, who implied that the UK was choosing to be bound by the data security regulations. In fact, as the UK will still be a full member of the EU by that time (whether the two-year Article 51 period’s clock has been started or not) the UK will automatically be legally bound by the regulation.

This news will be welcomed by business leaders who will be spending a great deal of time in the next few years preparing their workplaces, factories and supply-chains for the possibly radical changes that Brexit will cause: the GDPR framework is robust and offers clear guidelines which these companies can use to prepare for the transition to GDPR from the current Data Protection and Privacy laws: tightening up server security, working on password systems and managing access to and storage of data of all sorts.

Once in place, GDPR will remain in place as long as the UK continues membership of the EEA (European Economic Area), even after Brexit. Should the UK leave the EEA, GDPR will no longer be enforceable by the EU, and it will be up to the UK judicial system to step in to ensure that standards are maintained, and breaches punished appropriately.

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