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UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

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Any step towards a UK without a data protection law would require the UK to withdraw from the Council of Europe and its European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), something that Mrs. May has categorically stated will not happen under her watch as Prime Minister.

But it is a personal ambition of hers:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722361/We-pull-Euro-human-rights-rules-May-tells-PM-It-s-way-rid-foreign-criminals-says.html

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She was talking bollocks, blaming Johnny Foreigner for her own inadequacies. I have a friend who was deported from France back to the UK for drug dealing. He is permanently banned from living in France, even though at the time he had a wife and family in France and had been living there for about 20 years. So it is possible to deport foreign criminals from one EU country to another. That the UK didn't do it was more to do with the UK than the ECHR. May I seem to recall had some influence in that.

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Brexit means Brexit

But what does that actually mean?

The question asked only mentioned the EU, it made no mention of any other European organisation.

Since originally joining the then EEC involved leaving the EFTA, a reasonable interpretation would be rejoining the EFTA, which would be a means to remain in the EEA.

If we remain in the EEA then it is pretty much business as usual (except for farmers, fishermen and UK based EU funded projects, but the latter .)

Leaving the EEA is what would make our economy go TITSUP.

I have also noticed a lot of post referendum promises that would seem to be impossible without remaining in the EEA (some could alternatively be met by the breakup of the UK).

The NI-Eire border being the most obvious one. (If the UK left the EEA it would become a customs border, because there would be no free trade agreement, so how could it be completely open? i.e passports won't be needed, but goods would need to be checked.)

Of course it could mean the whole UK leaves united or not at all. (And to be pedantic, Britain only refers to England, Scotland and Wales. And even more pedantically, it can mean simply England and Wales, i.e if it is not used as an abbreviation for Great Britain.)

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Re: Brexit means Brexit

Open borders were allowed before with the Nordic Passport Convention, so there's no real reason that it could not be done again to keep the Irish border open.

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Re: Brexit means Brexit

"Open borders were allowed before with the Nordic Passport Convention, so there's no real reason that it could not be done again to keep the Irish border open."

But in that case what is to stop EU nationals travelling to Eire and just walking into the UK (via NI) without let or hindrance? Are we going to have full border control between 'the mainland' and NI?

Otherwise EU still has 'free movement' into UK but we don't have the same privilege.

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Re: Brexit means Brexit

The EU may not allow the UK to join the EFTA, because reducing the pain from leaving the EU makes it more likely other countries will consider it. They have a strong incentive to make it suck for the UK as much as possible, as a warning to the rest.

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Re: Brexit means Brexit

"They have a strong incentive to make it suck for the UK as much as possible, as a warning to the rest."

On the other hand, the UK is the second largest economy in the EU and one of the major trading partners, and the EU can't really afford to screw with that relationship too much. If it had been Portugal or Greece, then it would be much, much less of an issue and they could "make an example" of them if one or both had voted to leave.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Brexit means Brexit

A slight correction: after the referendum the UK is the third largest economy in the EU.

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Slx
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Re: Brexit means Brexit

The little known (by most of the commentators anyway) fact that the Republic of Ireland doesn't operate passport free travel with the rest of the EU as it's not in Shengen. So it can quite easily refuse entry to people who have been deported and so on (and does). I personally witnessed an EU national being turned around at the Irish border around an airport because they had been deported from Ireland and their passport triggered an alarm somewhere.

The Irish also fairly regularly compare aircraft manifests with welfare claimants and arrest Irish and UK nationals who have been border hopping and claiming dole here. There are plenty of cases of this out the last few years in the media where someone kinda at a Dublin or Cork etc to be met by a friendly Garda and welfare inspector with a list of flights they've been on. For example there were high profile cases of Irish citizens doing university courses in the UK while claiming dole here.

If you enter the Republic from any other countries in the EU, other than the UK you've got to show a passport and actually pass a camera.

Both countries already operate totally independent visa regimes for non-EU nationals. Someone from Country X can have a visa for the UK, yet be unable to travel to Ireland or an Irish visa and be unable to travel to the UK. This is the situation for many Chinese nationals, even those with long term visits. A friend of mine who is long term resident in the UK has to apply to the Irish embassy for multiple trip visas because she is from a country without visa waiver to enter the Republic of Ireland. You could be from the USA and hold an Irish green card but have no right to live in the UK or visa versa. Those situations already exist and are not causing massive waves of illegal immigration into either country.

Yes, you can walk across the border but you would be unable to get a job (legally) without applying for a National Insurance number in the UK or PPS in Ireland. You'd have no welfare rights and so on.

There's so much misinformation and lack of knowledge in these debates that it's frightening!

The external Irish border is far from "soft". I think there's genuinely a lot of concern about a problem that's already been solved and that both countries deal with all the time anyway.

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Re: Brexit means Brexit

"The NI-Eire border being the most obvious one. (If the UK left the EEA it would become a customs border, because there would be no free trade agreement, so how could it be completely open? i.e passports won't be needed, but goods would need to be checked.)"

OTOH it's difficult to see how it could be completely closed. Not only are there farms which straddle the border, there are buildings that do that. Who's going to check when you bring your shopping in through the front door in one country and carry it to the kitchen in another?

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Re: Brexit means Brexit

"On the other hand, the UK is the second largest economy in the EU" - but how much of this is because it *is* in the EU? As the AC below your comment pointed out, the UK is already down to third place.

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Re: The EU may not allow the UK to join the EFTA, because reducing the pain..

I believe they are pragmatic enough that they would go with an off the shelf EEA/EFTA deal. It would have the benefit of business pretty much as usual and preserve the rights of their citizens. It would also have the benefit of retaining our economy in the bloc, while getting rid of our government's whiny disruptive presence.

Am I the only Brit who is embarrassed by our government constantly asking for special deals, while the rest just get on with it?

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something as “flexible” as PrivacyShield

aka a piece of paper, a rubber rod, a silk plank.

PrivacyShield is about as good a shield as a paper boat would make a good Dover ferry.

And it's replacement, from what I understand, is still made of paper, but just reinforced with some glue.

It's all a vast joke, and we're the butt of it.

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Re: something as “flexible” as PrivacyShield

At least we have the paper boat - the Americans have a big void.

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Re: something as “flexible” as PrivacyShield

How about a papyrus boat? (You can't find me. I am hiding behind a Cheshire cat.)

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Facepalm

Right!

The day May gives two monkey's about our privacy or information rights is the day Satan will be skating....

you get the idea.

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If Privacy Shield is declared adequate than someone is lying, corrupt or bribed; and possibly all three.

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IMHO GDPR would probably be the best bet for the UK to comply to as it also protects the data travelling into Europe, not just what is just coming into the UK (and potentially make a new revenue stream for ICO to be self funding). PrivacyShield is a compromise between a "rock" and "hard place" that doesn't help either case - no doubt there will be a further legal challenge to it down the line.

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Mushroom

But..

"if PrivacyShield is deemed adequate for transfers of personal data from the European Union(EU) to the USA"

But it isn't. The only thing that would be adequate is wholesale change of US constitutional law to cover non-US citizens outside the US; which is never going to happen in - even with legislative branch support (which there is none: they think it's hilarious that people outside the US have expectations of a right to privacy. No really, they actually laughed when they were asked about it) - more than 25 years, best case really.

People hiding behind this stuff are ignoring the basics of the issue that brought Safe Harbour crashing down. That the 4th amendment doesn't cover non-US citizens outside the US and that the president has the power to do pretty much whatever he/she(? maybe?) wants even if it did. Corps in the US have zero control over any of this and are in no position to certify, guarantee, prove, attest, swear by anything.

As Caspar Bowden said, the only thing they're really going to understand is stopping the data flows.

I don't think it's even fit for the UK either if we get the kind of law that's been floated recently, there's effectively zero checks and balances in there so..

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Out means out

We need out of the ECHR in particular. And as many of these euro-trash organisations as it takes. In case anybody hadn't noticed, out means out.

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Re: Out means out

"We need out of the ECHR in particular."

Why? Don't Brits deserve to have their human rights protected? Are their rights so different from those in other countries?

Personally, I quite like the government of the day being bound by an international convention to protect my rights, and yours.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Out means out

Out means Not Completely In - that's likely to be the realpolitik

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Re: Out means out

"In case anybody hadn't noticed, out means out."

Actually, the question was "Should the UK leave the EU?" No mention of the ECHR or any other international convention or organisation. Any decisions about those would have to be taken by Parliament - which is sovereign (except when it chooses to enter into an international agreement), as Brexiters are always keen to point out. So "out" does not mean "out of everything".

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Re: Out means out

Don't Brits deserve to have their human rights protected?

Because why is the ECHR nescessary to do that. The UK literally invented human rights and due process.

No mention of the ECHR or any other international convention or organisation.

We'll still be in the Council of Europe post-brexit which requires membership of the ECHR - indeed the ECHR is the Council's court not the EU's. Not taking a position (well not expressing one at least), just relaying fact.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Out means out

Why would we want out of a convention that we drafted?

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Re: Out means out

Old Englishman or just old fool?

"We need out of the ECHR in particular."

I suggest you dig into this a little further. You'll then find that it was the idea of another old Englishman of whom you might have heard: Sir Winston Churchill. I think most of us would reckon that what was good enough for Churchill is good enough for us.

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