Brexit negotiators warned to take care over cyber-security

06-Jul-2016 @ 15:30

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A leading UK MEP has urged Brexit negotiators to seek to retain British involvement in EU cyber security networks and protect critical infrastructure from hackers.

New measures agreed today by the European Parliament focus on key areas such as power stations, banking networks and air traffic control systems.

The legislation builds on existing practice in the UK and represents a levelling up of security across the EU. It sets out basic standards of resilience and establishes procedures for EU countries to work together to prevent and detect network disruptions in critical infrastructure.

Member states will set up their own expert teams, share early warnings of risks and learn from each other's experiences.

The measures follow three years of negotiations chaired by British Conservative MEP Vicky Ford, chairman of the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. She hopes such co-operation will continue in Britain's future relations with the EU.

She said: "Cyber crime knows no borders and international cooperation is needed.

"This has been an extremely complex and sensitive negotiation and ensures that UK best practice is spread to other Member States. It is an important step forward.

"Safeguards mean that national security decisions should not be compromised and countries will not be forced to disclose sensitive information. On-line companies were concerned about bureaucracy if they needed to report the same incident in 28 different countries. A light touch and common approach has been agreed to address this.

"When we negotiate our new UK/EU relationship I hope space and time will be given for us to continue to work together when necessary on security issues such as this."

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