Government consults on future UK-EU cyber relations

European certification scheme recently came into effect

Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

The government is seeking input on the UK’s post-Brexit approach to working with the EU on cybersecurity issues.

The EU Cyber Security Act – which is intended to lay the legal groundwork for the creation of security certifications across Europe – came into effect earlier this summer. The law allows for national schemes for certifying the security of products and services to be mutually recognised across all other member states. 

The goal is to support the European Commission’s goal of cultivating a “digital single market” across the EU. The legislation is particularly targeted at the data and internet of things sectors.

According to a government consultation document published this week, as part of the act’s implementation, “the European Commission will publish a union-wide rolling work programme which will identify strategic priorities for future European cybersecurity certification schemes, including a list of ICT products, services and processes that might be included in the scope of a scheme”.

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Despite the country’s impending withdrawal from the EU, “the UK is committed to maintaining a close relationship” with Europe on cyber issues, the government said. 

“The UK will, therefore, seek to enter into negotiations with the EU on mutual recognition arrangements, where it seems reasonable to do so and subject to agreement with the EU,” it added.

The government is calling for interested parties to submit their views on UK-EU cyber relations. Feedback is particularly sought on four “principles” the government believes should guide its approach to working with Europe.

The first principle is that an EU-wide cyber certification scheme would benefit the overall level of UK cybersecurity, while the second is that such a scheme “meets a consumer need”. That assertions that the proposed EU programme “provides economic advantage to UK business” is the penultimate principle, while the last is that “the EU scheme proposal must be open and transparent”.

“The government is seeking views on this proposed approach,” the consultation document said. We would welcome views and any supporting evidence on this proposal.”

Submissions are open until 8 October.


Sam Trendall

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