On 18 March 2020, the EU published draft legislation. It covers all areas of negotiations, including trade and economic cooperation (with strong and fair conditions of competition for open and fair competition), law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, participation in EU programmes and other thematic areas of cooperation. A specific chapter on governance provides an overview of a general governance framework covering all areas of economic cooperation. The draft agreement covers all areas of the negotiations. The most important thing for us is that the draft treaty contained provisions relating to the digital economy and data protection. These provisions ensure that the parties are committed to a high level of data protection and recognize the importance of promoting and protecting fundamental privacy and data protection rights. The parties also agree to cooperate at the bilateral and multilateral level (to the extent national legislation allows), which may include dialogue, exchange of expertise and cooperation in the application of personal data protection. On 23 June 2016, the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU. On 29 March 2017, Theresa May, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, wrote to european Council President Donald Tusk triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, triggering the process for a member state to leave the EU. The Article 50 procedure provides for a two-year period for the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement which should take into account future relations between the EU and the outgoing Member State. At the request of the United Kingdom, the Article 50 deadline was finally extended until 31 January 2020. On 17 October 2019, the EU and the UK agreed on the text of a withdrawal agreement, which was unanimously approved by the European Council. The withdrawal agreement sets out the conditions for the UK`s orderly exit from the EU.
It contains detailed provisions for the management of ongoing processes and agreements in a wide range of areas. However, the draft agreement allows each party to adopt and maintain the safeguards it deems appropriate to ensure the protection of personal data and privacy, including by adopting and enforcing rules on the cross-border transfer of personal data. Ireland plays a role in the negotiations as a member of the EU-27. EU member states have given UKTF a mandate to negotiate future relations with the UK. UKTF regularly consults with Member States and the European Parliament as negotiations progress. The government regularly works with its EU counterparts and key stakeholders on these important issues. Ireland will continue to work constructively for our values and interests as a member of the EU-27. . On 18 March, the European Commission`s Working Group on Relations with the United Kingdom (UKTF) published its draft new partnership with the United Kingdom (draft agreement). It translates the negotiating guidelines approved by the Member States into a legal text in line with the political declaration agreed between the EU and the United Kingdom. The draft agreement was sent to the UK after consultation with the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union and aims to provide an instrument to support negotiations and progress in the UK`s relationship with the EU.