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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Brexit Vote: Short-term Continuity, Long-Term Uncertainty

The June 23 referendum vote by the UK electorate to leave the European Union has muddled the waters around a host of regulatory and business issues, not least of all that of how data transfers in and out of the UK will be handled in the future.  As Scott Blackmer points out in an excellent summary of the daunting complexities raised by Brexit, the timing of the UK’s departure could be awkward, since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on May 25, 2018, months ahead of the earliest projected date for the actual separation.  While the exact form and terms of any new relationship between the UK and the EU remains to be determined, the UK’s Information Commissioner has confirmed the country’s desire to have a data protection standard in place that is equivalent to that of the GDPR.  With so much up in the air, the ICO’s advice to companies following the October 2015 Schrems ruling seems even more apt at this time: keep calm and carry-on.

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