Data protection in the UK post-Brexit: the only certainty is uncertainty

Diker Vanberg, Aysem and Maunick, Maelya. 2018. Data protection in the UK post-Brexit: the only certainty is uncertainty. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 32(1), pp. 190-206. ISSN 1360-0869 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The EU General Data Protection Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on May 4 2016 and it will be binding on all member states including the UK, from 25 May 2018. This paper critically examines the implications of Britain?s exit from the EU on data protection law in the UK with a particular focus on the various trade models available to the UK such as the EEA model, the Swiss model, the free trade agreement as adopted by Canada, as well as the WTO model. Irrespective of the model chosen for exiting the European Union, the UK will adopt standards almost identical to the GDPR in order to remain a competitive actor in the global economy. Nevertheless, the paper contends that this does not necessarily suffice to secure an adequacy decision from the EU Commission. As clarified in the European Commission?s January 2018 Notice, if the UK and the EU cannot reach an agreement on data transfers bureaucratically burdensome requirements could apply to UK businesses. This adds to the prevailing uncertainty around Brexit.

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“This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in International Review of Law, Computers & Technology. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.”


Brexit, GDPR, data protection, UK

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20 January 2018Accepted
15 February 2018Published Online

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Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2022 11:42

Last Modified:

03 Feb 2022 11:27

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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