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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

GDPR, Brexit and your business in 2021

25 November 2020 by Laura Valentine

While we’ve all been distracted with the pandemic, and the unprecedented challenges it’s presented businesses in all sectors, the Brexit deadline has crept ever closer. With a little over a month to go until the end of the transition period, it’s time to refocus and make sure you’ve taken all the necessary steps to ready your business for the post-Brexit landscape.  

Data security within the UK 

The GDPR is an EU regulation and, as such, it will technically no longer apply to the UK after Brexit. However, the government has confirmed that after the transition is complete, GDPR will be incorporated into UK law. This means that little should change in respect to the way data is handled and protected within the UK 

Post-Brexit, the UK will have greater control over the data protection regulations. The government will have the independence to review the framework and make any alterations they deem necessary to protect the UK’s personal data.

Interacting with data in the EU 

From 1st January 2021, the EU GDPR regulations will still apply to any data exchanged with EU territories. If your organisation sends or receives data outside of the UK, you will need to maintain the GDPR policies set by the EU. In addition, you may need to make changes to your contracts, adding standard contractual clauses (SCCs) to ensure that your data flows remain legal and fully compliant.  

These contractual clauses safeguard data shared between the EEA and the UK, protecting your business from the hefty fines associated with GDPR non-compliance. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest ICO recommendations and seek legal advice if you’re uncertain.  

If you haven’t already checked, it’s vital you know where your data is stored. If you use any cloud-based services, contact your provider and find out the locations of their data centres. If your data is held outside of the UK it will affect the way you interact with it, meaning you may have to adjust your processes, causing interruption to your business. For the purposes of data sovereignty, consider seeking a services provider that only uses UK-based data centres 

Domain registrations 

Post-Brexit, it’s important to remember that if you currently hold a .eu domain and have plans to register or renew in the new year, you’ll need to provide proof of eligibility. If you think your business will be affected, your hosting provider can easily help you put a plan in place to register a new TLD and make sure your site is redirected, and that customers and clients are notified seamlessly. Find out more about how these restrictions affect .eu domain holders in our previous Brexit blog here

Brexit checklist 

Depending on the nature of your business and interaction with the EU there are myriads of other ways the impending end of the transition period could affect your organisation. The official gov website has full guidance on how to check every element of your business, which includes considering the following: 

  • If any of your workers are from the EU you may need to check if they need a visa or work permit.  
  • If you provide digital services to the EU you will need to appoint a representative in the countries you’re working in. This needs to be done in writing and reported to the ICO.  
  • Find out how changes to VAT and customs may affect your trade. You may need to apply for an EU EORI number and appoint a customs intermediary.  

 If you think Brexit will affect your data flows or domains, UKFast is happy to advise how we can help you prepare for the end of the transition period 

Speak to your account manager today or call the team
on 0161 215 4143.