Friday 20 April 2018

Ireland needs UK to stay with EU data

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Stock image
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

The UK has little choice but to seek inclusion in Europe's data regulation infrastructure.

To do otherwise, many argue, would be economically foolhardy. The UK would face being quarantined by EU regulators from a data perspective, meaning significant disruption in ecommerce, legal and financial business to and from the country.

In the same way, it would lose whatever remaining influence it has in EU-US negotiations over issues such as Privacy Shield, meaning it would automatically have to accept the outcome without any significant input.

From an Irish perspective, such exclusion could be a nightmare given the size of our trading relationship with Britain.

The UK remains Europe's largest digital economy and a crucial export market for many of Ireland's biggest tech multinationals.

Were Britain to completely cut itself off, it is not inconceivable that some of these tech multinationals might transfer some resources to UK offices just to service this local market.

As it happens, the vast majority of data privacy executives who have expressed a view on the issue seem keen not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. They say that the UK needs to be at the top table.

Irish Independent

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