With the end of the Brexit transition period approaching, EU and UK negotiators are reportedly working on an interim data transfer solution to allow more time for the European Commission to complete its adequacy assessment for the UK. Such an interim solution would temporarily include data flows in any wider trade deal to ensure data transfers between the EEA and the UK can continue if the UK adequacy assessment cannot be completed before the end of the transition period.
However, any interim solution will inevitably be tied up with the wider trade negotiations - so in the event of a no deal, EU Standard Contractual Clauses (or alternative data transfer mechanisms) will still be needed to legitimise EEA-UK transfers in the absence of an interim solution, assuming the UK does not receive an adequacy decision by the end of the transition period. At this stage, therefore, it is still advisable for organisations to put appropriate safeguards in place to ensure data transfers from the EEA to the UK can continue, if they have not done so already.
With time running out for the EU to grant the U.K.'s data protection regime a stamp of approval before the Brexit transition period ends, officials are considering options to keep personal data flowing across the Channel, according to two individuals familiar with the talks. The European Commission needs to deem the British data protection regime "adequate" in order to keep data flowing legally across the Channel. But any decision would need sign-off from EU governments, MEPs and the bloc's data protection regulators, which looks unlikely — if not impossible — before year-end. To avoid a cliff edge, negotiators in London and Brussels are working on an interim solution. One option on the table is to temporarily wrap data flows up into the wider trade deal — for a period no longer than six months — to allow more time to make the adequacy assessment, according to one official close to the talks.