Brexit negotiations are set to begin soon, but whether they will result in a good or bad deal is yet to be determined. In this week’s Brexit Tracker, Germany takes a stronger stance on Brexit, a question of how European Union (EU) data protections will play out remains and the perception of London is on the brink of change.
Hardened Stance On Brexit
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking a tougher position in response to news that Britain will seek a hard Brexit in its negotiations with the EU.
“We have no interest in punishing the U.K., but we also have no interest in putting European integration in danger over the U.K.,” Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, recently told The Financial Times.
“That’s why our priority must be, with a heavy heart, to keep the rest of Europe — without the U.K. — as close together as possible.”
The political message in Germany has continued to lean more pro-EU, especially since the election of Donald Trump and the rise of Merkel’s main challenger in upcoming elections, Martin Schulz, the Times stated.
In the face of the oncoming challenges Brexit may bring about, including migration, economic tensions and populist attacks, Germany has now placed a priority on maintaining unity within the EU.
Many German officials and politicians have noted the increasing obstacles of a mutually satisfactory deal being reached between the EU and U.K.
“We all see it’s going to be difficult. It would be a miracle if we got a good result,” Detlef Seif, CDU parliamentary Brexit spokesman, added.
Data Protection Safeguards
The EU governs the usage, access, movement and storage of personal data for its member states. In Europe, data is not a borderless commodity, BBC News explained — it’s overseen by the rules made by the EU.
But upon Brexit, the big question remains of what will happen to the data protections currently in place for the U.K.
It’s expected that new EU data protection laws will come into play next year and will still need to be implemented across the U.K. In the year following, Brexit may be in full force, and it will be up to the European Commission to decide if the U.K. is deemed “adequate” against the EU’s standards.
“Adequacy is something equivalent to EU standards,” Chris Pounder, a lawyer at information specialists Amberhawk, explained. “Already the Europeans are concerned about the level of protection afforded by the [current British] Data Protection Act.”
The data relationship between Britain and the EU isn’t the only one at risk.
Through the Privacy Shield, the EU is enabled to trade data with the U.S., which could leave Britain out of the data-sharing arrangement upon its official exit.
London’s Changing Image
A new survey revealed that London’s reputation as a global financial powerhouse is slipping as the country prepared to ignite Brexit negotiations.
The release of the Z/Yen global financial centers index (GFCI) showed that London is still in first place amongst 88 ranked financial centers, closely followed by New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
The results of the research also showed that banks and businesses are increasingly concerned about protectionism in the U.S. and Europe.
“Brexit is a major source of uncertainty for all centers — not just London,” the report’s authors said.
“London slipping is not to the benefit of continental Europe,” Michael Mainelli of Z/Yen Group added. “That is largely due to perceptions of Europe. The notion that we are a tired old continent is raised quite a bit,” he continued.
The study showed a sharp decline in the ratings of London’s reputation, infrastructure and business environment since last September.