back to article Tech pros warn EU 'data adequacy' at risk if Brexit Britain goes its own way

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has warned that proposed changes to Britain's data protection rules must not put the flow of data between the EU and the UK at risk. The professional body said the supposed benefits of a leaner data protection regime – something the government promised last week – should not come at the …

  1. Andy 73

    Funny..

    How all the invested parties never, ever see value in there being less regulation...

    1. codejunky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Funny..

      @Andy 73

      How else can they justify growing their departments

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: How all the invested parties never, ever see value in there being less regulation...

      Funny in a "not relevant to the article" way?

      The whole point is that the UK wants less regulation.

      It's almost like you didn't read the article and just went straight to shit posting.

      1. Andy 73

        Re: How all the invested parties never, ever see value in there being less regulation...

        Did you actually read the title of the article? "Tech pros warn..."

        The whole article is about people warning of the dangers of reducing regulation. Do keep up.

        1. Jedit Silver badge

          Re: How all the invested parties never, ever see value in there being less regulation...

          The purpose of regulation is to ensure fairness and protect rights. Wherever there is an invested party, there will inevitably be someone who wants less regulation because the rights of others get in the way of maximising profits. In this case businesses, and the UK government acting on their behalf, are also invested parties, and they want less data protection regulation because data is one more thing they can sell.

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: How all the invested parties never, ever see value in there being less regulation...

            The main purpose of regulation is to protect incumbents and keep out new players.

    3. a pressbutton

      Re: Funny..

      You mean like driving on one side of the road, disposing of toxic waste in a safe way etc etc?

      Yes, some rules are stupid (though, please give real examples that are not based on journalistic fantasy (yes, you Johnson, lying toad))

      But the GDPR regs broadly mean that my data is mine - that is a good thing imo. Whist they could be better, I have more chance of winning the lottery than this govt has of actually improving them.

  2. Snapper Bronze badge

    There is a big difference between 'less' and cutting to the point of causing serious issues with other groups requirements.

    I strongly suspect this gubmint will do whatever it pleases and f**k business.

    1. Jedit Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      "I strongly suspect this gubmint will do whatever it pleases and f**k business."

      This, except it's "fuck everyone else". They're happy for businesses to do well out of it, if they can. Their opposition is to being told what to do.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "The way forward"

    "... create a world-class data rights regime that will allow us to create a new pro-growth and trusted UK data protection framework that reduces burdens on businesses, boosts the economy, helps scientists to innovate and improves the lives of people in the UK"

    In practice, this means dismantling most of the protections offered to data subjects by removing from them much of the control over processing of their personal data that was formally enshrined in the GDPR.

    Pretty much all the proposals submitted for 'consultation' removed or watered down responsibilities of data controllers to data subjects, and it seems that, despite a significant body of objections and cautions submitted in response by experts, HMG is going to implement what it originally proposed, regardless of any emergent consequences - as happened in the case of the Northern Ireland Protocol, except that they probably won't attempt to backtrack to correct emergent data protection issues because nobody in business or government really cares about personal privacy unless it's their own. The public is a commodity, just like everything else.

    1. SW10
      FAIL

      Re: "The way forward"

      ...create a world-class data rights regime that will allow us to create a new pro-growth and trusted UK data protection framework that reduces burdens on businesses, boosts the economy, helps scientists to innovate and improves the lives of people in the UK...

      Let me FTFY:

      ...create a world-class tail that will allow us to wag the dog, reduce burdens on pigs such that they drift aloft, boost magic bean production, help tailors to innovate the finest silks visible to all but fools, and improve the lives of hedge-fund owning Ministers

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "The way forward"

        You forgot the magic beans.

        1. a pressbutton

          Re: "The way forward"

          Magic beans are attached to castles in the sky.

          Housing problems solved.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too late

    The UKs course for the next decade has been set. A low-regulation (for foreigners), low quality, low protection pariah state. Unable to secure any meaningful trade (because nobody wants to trade with countries that struggle to obey their own fucking treaties) it's a plummet to the bottom.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too late

      Exactly. Look at the mess likely to be caused as a result of the current government's attitude towards the NI agreement *they* themselves signed.

      The Brexiteers mouthed off about getting a trade deal with the US as if the UK would swan in and get whatever it wanted. Back in the real world, as many opposed to Brexit foresaw, it has put Britain in the weak position of *needing* that deal, adding to the existing weakness of dealing with a partner many times its size that doesn't need to rush and has the UK over a barrel.

      No-one in the Leave camp that dominates the current UK government cared about the consequences for NI (or much else beyond English nationalist puffery) at the time of the vote- because they never cared about NI in the first place- and it's an issue now because they didn't pay attention to that. The DUP supported Brexit as a wrecking tactic because they assumed any hard border would be across the island of Ireland and not across the North Sea.

      Both shot themselves in the foot, and we're all going to suffer the consequences. (Especially here in Scotland where we voted against this mess).

      The Obama era US (pre-Brexit, pre-Trump) made clear that any post-Brexit UK would *not* be rushed to the front of the queue for a trade deal. Biden (i.e. post-Brexit, post-Trump) is pro-Irish and pro-EU and has made clear that anything damaging to the Good Friday peace agreement (including a hard border on the island of Ireland) is likely to wreck the UK's chances of getting that deal.

      The US has made clear that it expects the Good Friday peace agreement to be maintained.

      It'd be ironic if it was the threat of that trade deal being killed off that stopped the UK government reneging on the NI agreement which it clearly signed in bad faith, purely as a short-termist ruse to back itself out of a corner it painted itself into.

      But given that they're quite happy to risk trade with the EU and the UK's economic future, there's a chance they'd ignore that anyway.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Too late

        the current government's attitude towards the NI agreement *they* themselves signed

        Both the UK and EU signed it, unfortunately the EU has been particularly over-zealous about checking it. "Trust but verify" is all very well, but when 60% of the EU's external border checks were happing in 12 miles of Irish sea there was clearly some imbalance. The UK still follows the same standards & rules as it did when it was an EU member, there is no reason (apart from pique) for the EU to attempt to block goods shipments.

        Fortunately both sides seem willing to continue discussions, hopefully with a pragmatic outcome.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too late

          Not buying all that "the EU is to blame for being unreasonable" and responsibility-shifting calls for "pragmatism" on their part.

          The UK government was looking for an excuse to break the agreement before the ink was even dry.

          It's blatantly obvious they only signed it to get themselves out of a corner with little thought beyond the immediate save-their-own-skins outcome except (at a push) the vague notion they'd deal with anything they didn't like when they came to it, probably by coercing the EU, bullshitting their way out of it or simply reneging upon it.

          That'd be Johnson and his government all over, and it was.

          Oddly, it appears that it's not as easy to coerce the EU- a much larger trading bloc- as the Brexiteers promised when they told us that the UK held all the cards and the EU would come begging for a trade deal. (Strange that, almost as if they were always full of it).

          And Johnson's hollow, puffed-up bullshit doesn't work nearly as well when the intended target isn't the English nationalist audience his sub-John-Bull schtick was designed for.

          So reneging upon the agreement via some quasi-legal means it is, then.

          > The UK still follows the same standards & rules as it did when it was an EU member, there is no reason (apart from pique) for the EU to attempt to block goods shipments.

          So, we're blaming the EU for the fact that the UK government chose- of its own volition- to leave the single market that permitted frictionless trade when "the same standards & rules" were followed?

          You know... it's almost as if that was rather a stupid idea in the first place if that was what they'd wanted.

          Sick of hearing excuses about how it's the EU's fault for being unreasonable when it was the UK government that willingly signed the Northern Ireland protocol, and when it was the UK government that wanted- and chose- to leave the single market "club" and no longer has the benefits of being in that club.

          1. hoola Silver badge

            Re: Too late

            It is also the UK Government and all the MPs in Parliament in the 2016-2019 period that created most of this pig-eared mess that directly led to Johnson being elected.

            There were better options available but the chimps in Parliament at the time kept voting against absolutely everything, regardless of which side they "represented", political or the referendum.

          2. EnviableOne Silver badge

            Re: Too late

            well said.

            there are only two solutions to the Northern Ireland trade situation that please both the Nationalists (no border on the island of Ireland) and the Unionists (no border between NI and the rest of UK) both rely on their being free trade between Ireland and the UK.

            The first method that was working perfectly fine was both countries are part of the EU and hence have the rights to internal market as all members do.

            The second is both are outside the EU and have the right to negotiate their own bilateral agreements, and form part of a separate free-trade area.

            Ireland is not going to leave the EU, as they have some sense.

            During the time since the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement, the economy of NI has become dependent on that of the non-UK part, due to the economies of scale and the limited size of the market in the UK bit.

            the only viable option for NI, with the majority either for(SF) or Indifferent to (Alliance) the union of both parts of Ireland, is for that to take place and both to be part of the EU.

          3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Too late

            And Johnson's hollow, puffed-up bullshit doesn't work nearly as well when the intended target isn't the English nationalist audience his sub-John-Bull schtick was designed for.

            With that sort of anti-Tory, xenophobic attitude it would seem likely that your mind is too closed to be changed by discussion. I'm not English, BTW.

            So, we're blaming the EU for the fact that the UK government chose- of its own volition- to leave the single market that permitted frictionless trade when "the same standards & rules" were followed?

            Clever attempt at propaganda, but that's not remotely close to what I said.

            Sick of hearing excuses about how it's the EU's fault for being unreasonable when it was the UK government that willingly signed the Northern Ireland protocol, and when it was the UK government that wanted- and chose- to leave the single market "club" and no longer has the benefits of being in that club.

            No longer has either the benefits or the disadvantages, that is why we left, of course and we have to live with the EU's reaction, however childish that reaction may be.

            The EU could have treated the UK like other 3rd countries, and accepted that smooth trade is beneficial to both sides. They even signed a trade agreement that accepted that in principle. Unfortunately they then chose to carry out far more zealous checks on the Irish Sea border than they do on the other 41,000 miles of EU sea border, making movement of goods unnecessarily difficult. It's hard to see any other reason for this than an attempt to make post-Brexit relations so difficult that no other EU member is tempted to secede. It makes perfect sense from the EU position, of course, and is not remotely surprising, just disappointingly predictable.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Too late

              > With that sort of anti-Tory, xenophobic attitude it would seem likely that your mind is too closed to be changed by discussion.

              Ah yes, that must be it. I'm the small-minded bigot! *cough*

              Though I *will* happily concede that I hate the Tories, not least because of stuff like this.

              > I'm not English, BTW.

              Good for you. Doesn't change the fact that Johnson's blustering sub-John Bull schtick isn't going to work on EU leaders the way it did on his Little Englander voter base. It doesn't even play well up here in Scotland, where he's widely disliked.

              > Clever attempt at propaganda, but that's not remotely close to what I said.

              You whined that the EU was blocking goods shipments despite the UK continuing to follow the same standards.

              As if that alone entitled the UK to the same seamless trade it enjoyed before it chose to leave the single market.

              Welcome to the real world, where the UK doesn't hold all the cards (as the Brexiteers promised), where the EU is simply treating the UK as the country outside the single market it chose to be and where it isn't obliged to let the UK pick and choose the benefits of the EU/single-market without being a member.

              They *always* made clear the UK was never going to be granted all the benefits of being a member of the single market and/or the EU, if it chose to be outside of them. What sense of entitlement makes you think this is unreasonable?

              If Leave voters didn't hear that because they preferred the Brexiteers' puffed-up lies (i.e. the UK held all the cards and the EU would come begging for a trade deal regardless), that's not the EU's fault.

              > they then chose to carry out far more zealous checks on the Irish Sea border than they do on the other 41,000 miles of EU sea border

              Because the Irish Sea border has no particular significance nor any more trade crossing it than any other arbitrary region of EU sea border, right?

              Anyway... yeah. Horrible EU, "bullying" poor little Britain, whose only crimes were to assume that it could have its cake and eat it, to assume that *they* would be the ones pushing the EU around and to blame the EU when it wasn't given everything its deluded sense of entitlement led it to expect.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: Too late

                You whined that the EU was blocking goods shipments despite the UK continuing to follow the same standards.

                No, I said that the EU was over-zealous in checking compared to how it treats other 3rd countries, even though there was no reason to do so since we hadn't changed the standards that we followed. No-one is asking for special treatment, just fair treatment with other non-members.

                They *always* made clear the UK was never going to be granted all the benefits of being a member of the single market and/or the EU, if it chose to be outside of them. What sense of entitlement makes you think this is unreasonable?

                I do wish you'd actually make some attempt to read and understand what I wrote, before leaping in with knee-jerk reactions based on what you assume I wrote. Of course we don't have all the benefits of being a member of the single market, we left it, ye eejit!

                UK/EU trade is governed by the agreement that both sides signed. I am merely stating the fact that the EU applies much more zealous checks to this small border than it does anywhere else, for no good reason. Perhaps we could do the same, create a special "EU passports" lane at Heathrow, with one border control officer that spends 10 minutes checking each and every passport, and then a customs officer that opens every suitcase. Think the EU response would be "It's OK, they left the club, they're entitled to check our things very thoroughly"? Somehow, I doubt it. No one has any special sense of entitlement, just an expectation that both sides will show a sense of pragmatic fair play so both sides can benefit.

                Horrible EU, "bullying" poor little Britain, whose only crimes were to assume that it could have its cake and eat it, to assume that *they* would be the ones pushing the EU around and to blame the EU when it wasn't given everything its deluded sense of entitlement led it to expect.

                The sad thing is that without this ludicrous sense of "Oh shit, if we don't make life difficult for the Brits, someone else might leave!" both the EU and the UK would gain. I believe the phrase is "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face".

    2. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Too late

      Given the UK has historically provided plenty of protections and has secured multiple trade deals I fear I must disagree strongly with your deeply pessimistic view.

      You haven't incidentally provided any references to the UK failing to meet its own treaties. There are sadly many for the EU and its members failing to meet its - e.g. allowing Greece into the Euro despite it failing to meet the criteria, trying to use Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol because the EU messed up its vaccine procurement, the multiple countries establishing internal borders in contravention of their Schengen obligations.

      The UK is lucky to have escaped that expensive anti-democratic treaty ignoring organisation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too late

        And yet at this point, Greece is still part of the EU, after having receiving a lot of help.

        And on the COVID side, the BBC says that the UK excess deaths are above global average, barely below those of Germany and Spain, and greatly above France and Sweden. So the messing up a year on isn't that obvious.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/61333847

      2. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Too late

        You do know all the decisions and deals the UK made about vaccines were made during the transition period where we were subject to the same rules as the rest of the EU. We could have done exactly the same without Brexit.

      3. First Light Silver badge

        Re: Too late

        The UK has in the past derogated from the European Convention on Human Rights, but most Human Rights treaties have provisions for derogation contained as part of the treaty language. Almost all of the UK's derogations were related to NI issues.

        https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt5802/jtselect/jtrights/89/8911.htm

        This may be the first time the UK has knowingly decided to enact a law to violate an already-agreed treaty - by bringing a bill to disapply parts of the NI protocol which this same government passed into law. Afaik, there is no provision in the NI Protocol agreement to allow the UK to do so legally.

        However, in reality it will be months before the proposal is brought into law. It's a weak attempt to mollify the RWNJs of the Tory party and encourage the DUP to share power at Stormont (which they have shamefully refused to do, considering that kids are dying on hospital waitlists due to inaction by the devolved government. One of those was the 18-month-old grandkid of Doug Beattie, the UUP MLA).

      4. Just Enough

        Re: Too late

        "Given the UK has historically provided plenty of protections and has secured multiple trade deals I fear I must disagree strongly with your deeply pessimistic view."

        And the history of the current Government? One that they can be trusted to abide by? Anyone can secure a trade deal. A *good* trade agreement (and I mean good for the country, not for Tory interests) is a different matter.

        "You haven't incidentally provided any references to the UK failing to meet its own treaties. There are sadly many for the EU and its members failing to meet its - e.g. allowing Greece into the Euro"

        The UK were among those members. So you've just contradicted yourself.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: because nobody wants to trade with countries that struggle to obey their own fucking treaties

      This bit needed emphasis.

      For clarity, Bojo is Putin's monkey in the West of Europe, destabilising Europe at a time of war.

      What a patriot.

  5. Flak

    Inadequate approach to data adequacy

    I shudder to think what GB's new data protection legislation will look like based on previous form, particularly the 'oven ready' Brexit deal with the NI Protocol signed in what can only be described as bad faith and the finger of blame now pointed at the EU rather than the UK government.

    Any substantive divergence from current (EU aligned) GDPR carries the risk of organisations having to continue to comply with EU legislation if they want to do business with organisations and individuals in the EU.

    Having then to comply with two sets of requirements means more rather than less red tape for UK businesses.

    A new industry will spring up helping businesses to be able to demonstrate compliance with EU legislation and validate an organisation's data protection adequacy.

    Plus the UK is no longer part of the club that makes the rules, but is still subjected to them. This was crystal clear from the beginning of this sorry process.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

      GB's new data protection legislation will look like based on previous form

      That would be the "previous form" where the UK had some of the strongest DP rules in Europe, well ahead of EU minima and better than France and Germany?

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        "the "previous form" where the UK had some of the strongest DP rules in Europe"

        When was that? The 1998 DPA implementation of the European Directive was so awful that the European Commission would not even divulge the issues to avoid “prejudice to international relations”" [ref amberhawk as linked above].

        And it was far from alone in being deficient, which is precisely why the Regulation was created to replace the Directive - to eliminate the ambiguity resulting from divergent interpretations across member states.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          When was that?

          The UK's original DP act was 1984 (under a Tory government).

          The 1998 DPA implementation of the European Directive was so awful

          Yes, the Blair government's attempt at implementing the new EU rules in 1998 seemed to be poorly worded and unclear in terms of the EU legislation.

          eliminate the ambiguity resulting from divergent interpretations across member states.

          Always a problem with EU law. In an attempt to create regulations that can be agreed to by an increasing number of very different countries, EU rules tend to become complex, ambiguous, and very hard to implement. There's always a fine line between using the ambiguities to make it acceptable at home, without stretching them so far the the European Comission gets upset. Labour failed.

          I'm less familiar with the details of the 1998 act, when I was involved in DP it was around the time of the 1984 act, and then more recently with GDPR.

          Still, the UK has generally been willing to try and strengthen DP rules above & beyond those in force in other European countries.

          1. Mike 137 Silver badge

            Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

            "The UK's original DP act was 1984

            Yes. One of my businesses was registered under it, and I'd hardly call it a high quality piece of legislation - it in many ways provided opportiunities for undetectable 'box ticking' as is now under discussion. For example, the statement of processing that was lodged with the ICO was templated very loosely and did not require or allow detailed specification of actual processing - just selection among broad pre-defined categories of purpose.

            Admittedly the GDPR doesn't prescribe presentation (which is a major weakness), but the Article 13/14 requirements for content go a long way towards the right answer.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

            "Still, the UK has generally been willing to try and strengthen DP rules above & beyond those in force in other European countries."

            In the past maybe. What they're saying now is that now they don't have to they're not going to do that. This is removing protection from the general public, including you and me and yet the EU, putting that protection in place is called undemocratic.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        Total bollocks.

        I live in France. Data protection is taken very seriously*. In UK, not so much. Actually, not at all.

        -A.

        * To give an example, credit reference agencies simply don't exist here. They can't legally operate within the strict privacy regime.

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: credit reference agencies simply don't exist here

          You're missing out mate! I see these advertised on the TV, it's a magic app that makes your stuff nicer!!! Says some stuff about "credit ratings" that I don't understand but then a shit car is replaced by a nicer car which is then replaced by an even better car that doesn't even need a child seat in it!! All for free from an app.

          I'm glad we have these fantastic services in the UK!

      3. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        the UK had some of the strongest DP rules in Europe

        The Tories often make all sorts of rules, laws and regulations but then they make sure there is no money for enforcement so while the laws "exist" they don't really - look at unexplained wealth orders, not a single one issued since 2019, before that the total was 9 relating to 4 cases - not exactly a deterrent.

    2. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

      "Having then to comply with two sets of requirements"

      As, courtesy of BREXIT, we now have to strike trade deals with lots of other countries outside Europe, there's going to be many more than two sets of requirements - indeed there always have been for businesses with international markets. Way back before the GDPR was even thought of I helped coordinate data protection for an organisation operating in around 90 countries. It needed to maintain compliance with a few more than that number of different regimes (courtesy of state v. federal legislations).

      So whether or not the UK retains notional adequacy, it will still have to comply with the GDPR when processing the personal data of persons in the EU (EEA), but bearing in mind that a lot of upcoming data protection legislation world wide is being modelled on the GDPR, our 'softening up' is unlikely to inspire the confidence of potential new trade partners.

      But the big problem for the UK is not so much this, but that our own internal data protection regime will not respect the privacy of our own citizens. I suspect that will be pretty unpopular once it's recognised.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        "So whether or not the UK retains notional adequacy, it will still have to comply with the GDPR when processing the personal data of persons in the EU (EEA)"

        The UK as a whole doesn't process such data. Businesses that want to process personal data will have to comply.

        But if adequacy is not maintained will the EU accept that such businesses are complying with GDPR? Remember where Schrems keeps tripping up arrangements with the US: it's the US's surveillance legislation making it impossible to comply. There seems to be every chance that UK changes will make it equally impossible. The difference between the US & the UK is that the EU seems prepared to keep creating fig-leaf arrangements which then take Schrems some time to tear down because it means going to court and I don't see them extending that sort of arrangement to us. Why would they? They have much less need to do so and HMG keeps thumbing its nose at them.

    3. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

      The NI Protocol was indeed signed in bad faith - the EU had no intention of negotiating, the Surrender Bill prevented the Government from refusing it and the EU has since refused to allow it to work to the benefit of both parties.

      The sooner we ditch that travesty the better.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        "The sooner we ditch that travesty the better."

        Why haven't you done it then with all the time you have had.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          Because the Government have been negotiating in good faith and trying to convince the EU to do the same.

          The measures announced today have been sadly necessary because the EU refuses to implement the protocol fairly and is thus both causing damage to the unity of the UK and also putting at risk the Good Friday Agreement. The UK is obliged to protect that agreement and if that means ending the NI Protocol then the EU will have only itself to blame.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

            So you mean that when the UK was negotiating *before* signing the agreement, they were doing it in bad faith?

            Starting good faith negotiations *after* the signature isn't how it's usually done on the Continent, that must be the root of the misunderstanding here.

          2. Dinanziame Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

            The Government have been negotiating in good faith and trying to convince the EU to do the same.

            You mean the part where the Government has signed on the dotted line and now wants to renegotiate everything? That's the "good faith" part?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        "The NI Protocol was indeed signed in bad faith"

        Indeed it was. BoJo was caught between the requirements to keep the Good Friday arrangements going, preserving the Union and his Getting Brexit Done*. So he did what he always does, deals with the immediate most immediate aspect letting something else go until it becomes a problem when he'll back track, bouncing back and forth from one to another. His resolution to that quandary was an arrangement whereby NI was still in the customs union and the rest of the no longer quite as United Kingdom wasn't. It was made quite clear at the time that he'd be prepared to tear up part of the Brexit agreement when the Union issue became a problem. Bad faith.

        The Union issue has now become an problem so he's going to take the next step, breaking the Brexit agreement. Clearly he'd prefer to negotiate a fudge with the EU whereby they let goods "for NI only" pass through unchecked. Nobody who remembers** the old days pre-EU membership and the smuggling that took place despite the border checks will believe that "NI only" bit. Why should the EU agree to creating a huge back door?

        Then he'll get leaned on by Biden about the Good Friday agreement. Goodness knows what he'll do about that but whatever it is he'll find himself getting hemmed into a tighter and tighter triangle. He probably reckons that with a bit of luck he'll have left office and it'll be somebody else's problem.

        * Let's be quite clear about this. The Good Friday Agreement was predicated on both sides of the border being in a customs union. That was needed to avoid the border customs posts and hence a hard border. The only way to Get Brexit Done and avoid a customs border at the Irish border was to create a customs border in the Irish Sea instead so that N Ireland remained in the customs union. That, of course weakens the United Kingdom's Union. It's a choose any two situation.

        ** I remember one occasion when a whole bus-load of Christmas shoppers from the South descended on Lisburn, they couldn't wait to go the extra 10 miles into Belfast.

        1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          "The only way to Get Brexit Done and avoid a customs border at the Irish border was to create a customs border in the Irish Sea instead "

          Or to introduce a trusted trader scheme with electronic submission of documentation, avoiding any physical border checks.

          Or to place the border between the Irish Republic and the European mainland (as the EU apparently developed plans for, in the event of a no deal, much to the discomfort of the Irish Government)

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          "Why should the EU agree to creating a huge back door?" Because the alternative is going to be a hard border between NI and the Republic. The sooner the better as far as I'm concerned.

      3. sabroni Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: the EU had no intention of negotiating

        The treaty signing bit comes AFTER the negotiation.

        You're saying we signed this knowing that it wasn't fit for purpose and needed changing?

        Clever use of "Surrender Bill", makes you sound very knowledgeable.

      4. Number 39

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        You mean they took advantage of Johnson wanting something quick and not bothering to read it and then making ridiculous claims about the consequences while campaigning a general election on the basis of signing it?

        Can't be ditched unilaterally without massive consequences, and sadly the UK is in a position of abject weakness.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        > "The NI Protocol was indeed signed in bad faith"

        You at least got *that* bit right. Johnson and chums had backed themselves into a corner, run down the clock to their self-imposed deadline until there was only one option left (Johnson's modus operandi when forced with difficult choices).

        They then signed it purely to get themselves out of a short-term fix with the likely intention of weaselling out of anything inconvenient later. (Assuming you credit them with planning even that much).

        > "the EU had no intention of negotiating"

        The UK government ran down the clock rather than compromise- because that would require them to admit they weren't going to get the one-sided, UK-favouring unicorns-and-rainbows deal that the Brexiteers promised- until it was too late for them to do otherwise.

        (They *could* have asked for their self-imposed deadline to be extended again. Which the EU likely would have been open to, but wasn't an acceptable option for the "Get Brexit Done" UK government. Also would have deprived them of being able to conveniently blame the negative consequences of Brexit on Covid).

        > "the Surrender Bill prevented the Government from refusing it"

        And yet the UK government went ahead and signed this "Surrender Bill".

        And let's not forget that even if the EU *had* been to blame for forcing the poor, weak UK government to sign the "Surrender Bill" (Disclaimer: it wasn't), that alone undermines the bedrock of the Leavers' case- namely, that the UK supposedly held all the cards and the EU was the one that would come begging for a trade deal and give the UK everything it wanted on a plate?

        Brexiteers like yourself can whine that the EU is forcing the UK to sign "surrender bills", but- whether that's true or not- by doing so you're effectively conceding your original case was hollow puffery and bullshit regardless.

        Which should have been clear to more people at the time, but too many didn't want to believe otherwise and here we are. Those in the UK who bought that obvious lie and voted for Brexit only have themselves to blame for the current mess- not the EU.

    4. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

      Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

      It may be impossible to comply with two sets of requirements if they contradict each other.

      Hopefully they don't but the devil is in the details (which noone seems to knows of yet).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

        It's three sets of requirements. The Good Friday agreement - no hard border in Ireland, the Union - no hard borders within the United Kingdon and Getting Brexit Done, choose any two.

        It was pointed out that this was one of the problems with Brexit when the stupid idea was first mooted.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          The UK can deliver all three. The EU refuses.

          Incidentally, the Good Friday Agreement does not require no hard border in Ireland. That's not in the agreement. Indeed, in 2020 a hard border was established in Ireland by the Government in Dublin.

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

            You really are a first class tit.

            -A.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          No hard border in Ireland is not specifically a requirement of the Good Friday Agreement.

          Not changing the status of Northern Ireland within the UK without the express consent of the people of Northern Ireland is.

          The protocol specifically breaks the Good Friday Agreement. The Agreement that everyone seems to claim is sacrosanct, and must not under any circumstances be broken.

          1. Fonant

            Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

            If what you say is true, why did Boris Johnson and his government make this agreement with the EU?

            He signed it, and proclaimed it an excellent deal.

            The status of Northern Ireland within the UK has not changed. However it is interesting that in the latest election parties wanting a united Ireland won more votes than UK Unionist parties.

            Northern Ireland is doing very nicely, being both in the UK and the EU Customs Union and Single Market. That is what the real problem is for the Tories.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

              Because it provided an immediate solution to a difficult issue that was holding up the much larger overall withdrawal agreement, and because he incorrectly assumed that the EU was negotiating in Good Faith.

              Given that the trade across the inter-Irish border would amount to I think 4% of the EU's external trade, it would be reasonable to expect that customs checks would amount to no more than 4% of the total.

              In fact, given that the starting point was that all goods coming from the UK would initially be 100% compliant with EU regulations, a sensible and reasonable person might consider that the necessary checks would amount to less than 4% of the total carried out by the EU.

              Yet in practice, the EU demands are resulting in ~60% of all EU border checks being carried out on UK - NI trade, and the EU has refused to engage on the issue until forced by threats from the UK of abrogating the NI protocol, as was demonstrated a few months ago when safety checks that were absolutely vital were suddenly dropped as being unnecessary.

              And there are now checks on goods that are passing from Great Britain into Northern Ireland, which didn't previously exist, and which do not exist between any of the other constituent countries of the Union; Northern Ireland's status within the UK has clearly been changed,

            2. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

              Simple BoJo is an idiot, and a proven liar.

            3. SundogUK Silver badge

              Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

              "..in the latest election parties wanting a united Ireland won more votes than UK Unionist parties."

              This is not true. Sinn Féin are the only party wanting a united Ireland. You are dishonestly adding the Alliance Party to this total when their manifesto is deliberately neutral on a united Ireland and in fact, individual Alliance voters lean more Unionist.

        3. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          I said back in 2016 Ireland would be a big issue, and that only fix was remaining in Margaret Thatchers Single Market.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

            @MJI

            "I said back in 2016 Ireland would be a big issue, and that only fix was remaining in Margaret Thatchers Single Market."

            Thatcher was against the EU. She was also a strong enough leader to participate.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

              MT pushed for the creation of the single market.

              It was an excellent and very sensible idea.

              BoJo the clown pulled us out.

              We could have remained in the single market by dropping to EEA. But no the Brexshit ultras said no!

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

                @MJI

                "MT pushed for the creation of the single market."

                Which is something different to the political project which she rejected. As she also rejected the joint currency.

                "We could have remained in the single market by dropping to EEA. But no the Brexshit ultras said no!"

                Have you heard the latest from the frogs? Macron wants another layer of EU which the UK can join and so on. So much for them not needing us.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

                  chodejunky> "Have you heard the latest from the frogs?"

                  Have you heard the latest from the gammons? They "Got Brexit Done." So why are the gammon herders still up to their tricks, hmm?

        4. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

          A hard border between NI and the Republic does not break the Good Friday agreement, so bring it on.

    5. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

      It would not matter that we follow the regulation, we would, by default, not be adequate.. and either able to prove or the legislation might be considered incompatible so it could be impossible to comply.. but more likely, it would just be risk.

      So if it is unknown, why invest in the uk, put the data somewhere else..

    6. just another employee

      Re: Inadequate approach to data adequacy

      No new industry - its already here. It's called the 'Legal' industry - you know, the ones that set the massive compliance requirements of EU GDPR in the first place.

      Why do people have an issue with the UK (or anywhere) trying to move away from *MORE* regulation and towards a risk approach?

      I want to know - what day will we be subject to less rules than the day before?

      There MUST be such a day - or society will implode - but the rate of regulation and law coming out of the EU means their citizens won't see that day in their lifetime.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    diverging to make a political point about the UK's independence

    So they're choosing the tech industry, and all digital business activity, as the plaything they're going to sacrifice to make their debating society point about being different just for the sake of it. Well done. Just add this to the trade war they're spoiling for, and all the other global economic problems, and the Sunlit Uplands of Brexit will surely soon be arrived at.

    I'm sure it's lots of fun to play this game if you're rich enough that it won't cause you that much pain.

    1. JimmyPage
      Mushroom

      Re: diverging to make a political point about the UK's independence

      So they're choosing the tech industry, and all digital business activity, as the plaything they're going to sacrifice to make their debating society point about being different just for the sake of it

      Why not ? They've already fucked the farmers and fishermen - who actually voted for this clusterfuck.

      How much care do you think they will show a tech sector that was 100% opposed to Brexit from the off ?

    2. fajensen
      Flame

      Re: diverging to make a political point about the UK's independence

      I don't think there is a plan as such. These people are simple "smash & grab" looters. Hand to Mouth people.

      The only consistent "strategic thing", I see, is that the Tory regime will prefer to create some fresh controversy or another fuck-up to cover up some other mess they have made recently, like people not being able to afford food, heating and electicity, over fixing anything.

      Not that they care, but, it is bad for "The Brand".

      Perhaps the "thinking" here is that, if one manage to kick off a trade war with the EU, those inconveniences can be blamed on "The EU", "Germany" and "The Frech", therefore nothing needs to be done about any of them them apart from many ranting articles about WWII and The Royals in The Daily Mail.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misdirection Again...And Funding Opportunities For Certain Well Known Political Parties......

    Quote: "... in the Queen's Speech setting out policy plans for the next Parliament, the government promised the data protection regime would be reformed..."

    Translation: The Conservative government will, for example, sell all the personal NHS records they can find to Peter Thiel and Palantir.

    ....of course, FOR A PRICE!!

    Take a look:

    PALANTIR

    Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel

    Link: https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/05/palantir_leaps_from_covid_role/

    OTHER SELL OUT OPPORTUNITIES

    Link: https://www.theregister.com/2021/10/11/data_guardian_police_bill/

    Link: https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/30/royal_free_deepmind_representative_action_uk/

    Link: https://www.theregister.com/2021/10/11/data_guardian_police_bill/

    So......the Conservative approach to "data protection" and "privacy" is simple...and in two parts:

    (1) We will sell anything to anyone.....as long as the price is in millions or billions (you know...dollars, pounds stirling....)

    (2) We know nothing (nothing I tell you) about the concerns of individual citizens (you know...the taxpayers funding this charade...)

    1. You aint sin me, roit

      Re: Misdirection... it's worse than that...

      It's about privatizing the NHS.

      No self-respecting US company would accept a deal without all those juicy patient details.

    2. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Misdirection Again...And Funding Opportunities For Certain Well Known Political Parties......

      Most of people we have in Government would sell the grandparent's for soap if they could. They are totally without any morals, integrity or comprehension of the real world.

      It started around 20 years ago as the career MPs started to move in with their PPE degrees. Since then it has got steadily worse as the numbers have increased. That takes you to the 2019 GE where many of the older generation of MPs stuck two fingers up and walked. They could see what was already happening and what BJ was going to do.

      Who can blame them.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    Them as voted leave, I seem to recall them being told "we could be like Norway" and "nobody is talking about leaving the single market"

    Well since then, the ERG mob have forced things to the extreme and will not countenance any shared standards. No matter how much harm it does.

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      The more they are appeased by a PM desperate to remain in power, the worse they become.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      The ERG are likely funded by Uncle Vladimir himself! Their very purpose is to cause harm!!

    3. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      I was definitely talking about leaving the single market. That was the point. I most earnestly wished for a WTO deal.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        "I most earnestly wished for a WTO deal."

        Have you ever tried to navigate the WTO website to check tariffs and non-tariff barriers? And tried to deal with different product standards?

    4. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      It has also not been helped by the Remain supporting MPs on all sides who equally decided not to cooperate with anything. There were better deals available at the start but MPs on all sides decided that doing nothing and arguing was a better solution.

      That directly led to Johnson as the Tory leader in 2019 ending up with a huge majority on the back of his worthless slogan "Get Brexit Done".

  9. Paul 195
    Mushroom

    Not up to the job

    This is just the latest indicator that the current crop of government ministers are simply not up to the job. Their understanding of the potential consequences of any action is outweighed by their determination to find any benefit, however illusory, from Brexit. Or in other cases, simply to take vengeance on anyone who exposes their incompetence (take a bow Channel 4 news).

    Deviating from GDPR will have no benefit for consumers, and only benefit those businesses large enough to be able to exploit the extra surveillance of the British population it will enable. Other businesses will suffer as EU data can no longer be processed here, enabling the IT sector to share in the Brexit damage so far inflicted most heavily on farming and fisheries.

  10. RobLang
    Meh

    Probably more work for me if they go their separate ways

    Right now our EU clients are relaxed about where our data centres are (UK or EU) because of the data adequacy agreement. GDPR isn't perfect (no law is IMO) but it's what a chunk of our clients use, so we do too. Any UK reform won't change that. If there is deviation and we lose data adequacy, I'm going to have to move some stuff out of the UK and (if the NI protocol is anything to go by) create extra paperwork to prove that we're still GDPR compliant. Not looking forward to that.

  11. Plest Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Govs says "We're going to improve X!" my advice?

    RUN! RUN FAR AND RUN FAST!!!

    1. a pressbutton

      “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from Boris's government and I’m here to help.’”

      - ronald reagan didnt say that, but I would like to think he would have if he was around today

      - citations include most of british business, northern ireland, a lot of ex-colleagues and Mrs zagari-ratcliffe

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @a pressbutton

        "- ronald reagan didnt say that, but I would like to think he would have if he was around today"

        I doubt he would. The original was on point. This isnt special to the Boris government.

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