By Tony Winterburn • 20 February 2021 • 8:47
EU set to criticise UK's approach to EU citizens. image: No 10 Wiki commons
Brexit Breakthrough As Crime, Health And Insurance Data To Flow Freely Between Britain And EU.
A PRELIMINARY EU decision to allow crime, health and insurance data to continue to flow freely between Britain and the bloc has been hailed as a Brexit breakthrough. The European Commission published its draft data adequacy decisions on Friday, Feb. 19, which concluded that the UK is capable of providing acceptable data protection standards to allow the ongoing exchange of data.
A six-month “bridging mechanism” is currently facilitating data exchange between the UK and EU following the end of the Brexit transition period on Dec 31, but that it is due to expire at the end of June.
The British Government had asked the European Union to allow it to maintain similar access to security databases that it enjoyed while still an EU member. In particular, ministers were keen to retain access to Europol’s central intelligence database (EIS) and the Schengen Information System (SIS II), a database used by European border control agencies. However, and perhaps surprisingly, it was Germany that led the main vocal opposition to British demands to retain the status quo on data exchange after Brexit.
Last April, Christian Perry from Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) told The Guardian: “The Brexiteers have always disparaged the EU as undemocratic. To now dictate to the EU as a third country how we should organise our inner security, that would indeed be undemocratic. It would not only be ‘cherry-picking on speed’, but set a fatal precedent. With what arguments could we respond to wishes from other states with similar ideas?”
However, even with these arguments and in a landmark preliminary decision on Friday, the EU has now agreed to allow crime, health and insurance data to continue to flow freely between the UK and the bloc.
This opens the way for the continued exchanges of files between UK and EU law enforcement agencies. With ISIS said to be reforming in the middle east the sharing of criminal data and movements has never been more important.
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