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General Data Protection Regulation

Statement made on 4 February 2016

Statement UIN HLWS500


This Government has decided not to opt-in to the Justice and Home Affairs provision within the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Negotiations on the Regulation were concluded on 15 December 2015 and a proposed final compromise text was communicated to the European Council on 17 December. The final text for the GDPR is expected to be formally adopted in due course.

The compromise text contained wording in article 43a, which triggers the UK’s opt-in under protocol 21. This article deals with the recognition and enforcement of judgments, and includes content that falls under article 81 (judicial cooperation in civil matters) and article 82 (judicial cooperation in criminal matters) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, thereby triggering the UK’s JHA opt-in. The text restricts a Member State from enforcing a judgment requiring the transfer or disclosure of personal data where there is no international agreement or treaty.

As a result of concerns relating to the integrity of the UK legal system, the UK will not exercise the opt-in to the parts of Article 43a which trigger the Protocol 21.

Linked statements

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
General Data Protection Regulation
Mr Edward Vaizey
Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy
Conservative, Wantage
Statement made 4 February 2016