The European Commission is widely expected to propose data adequacy for the UK within days.

The move would be the first step in the European Union recognising the UK’s data protection regime as adequate in protecting European data subjects’ rights. This, if adopted, would guarantee the free flow of data between the EU and the United Kingdom after a six-month grace period ends in June.

“The adequacy talks with the UK are well advanced and the adoption process is foreseen to start very soon,” a European Commission spokesperson said.

The move, if confirmed, would come as a relief to UK businesses, who would otherwise have faced costs through having to meet extra compliance obligations such as establishing standard contractual clauses.

A report by think tank New Economics Foundation and the UCL European Institute published in November estimated the total cost to UK businesses could reach £1.6 billion.

Following the proposal from the European Commission, the adequacy decision would be subject to opinions from the European Data Protection board and approval by member states before it could be fully adopted.

Click here to read more about Brexit and adequacy