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Lawmakers urge Brexit data deal to protect intelligence sharing

(Bloomberg) -- British police may be prevented from receiving information from their European Union counterparts unless the government reaches a data-protection agreement as part of its Brexit package, a panel of lawmakers warned.

Without any accord, EU rules will prevent both police and companies from moving data from inside the bloc to the U.K, according to a report from the House of Lords Home Affairs EU Subcommittee, published in London Tuesday. It proposed the government should seek an “adequacy decision,” which would mean the EU agreeing that British data-protection rules meet its standards.

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The Union flag, also known as the Union Jack, left, stands next to a European Union (EU) flag ahead of the start of Brexit negotiations in Brussels, Belgium. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

But the panel warned that the police have no fallback option if such a deal isn’t reached, so it also urged the government to seek to include data-protection arrangements in any transitional accord as the U.K. leaves the EU.

“The committee was concerned by the lack of detail on how the government plans to maintain unhindered data flows post-Brexit,” the committee chairman, Michael Jay, said in an emailed statement. “It was concerned, too, by the risk that EU and U.K. data-protection rules could diverge over time when the U.K. has left the EU. To avoid this, the committee urges the government to secure a continuing role for the Information Commissioner’s Office on the European Data Protection Board.”

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