Technical note on the exchange and protection of classified information

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU, and sets out the UK’s position on the technical arrangements necessary for the exchange and protection of classified information between the UK and the EU.

The UK wants to build a new, deep and special partnership with the EU. Both the UK and the EU agree that arrangements allowing the exchange of classified information will be key to building this partnership. These arrangements should codify the depth of trust between the UK and the EU and facilitate common analysis, help inform operational planning and deliver cutting-edge capabilities.

The exchange of classified information is fundamental to cooperation across the future partnership, especially in relation to security, but also in the context of economic cooperation. An agreement on classified information should facilitate, but not mandate, the exchange of classified information. The level of cooperation and associated sharing of
classified information will be subject to further negotiation. The presence of liaison officers and secondees could also play an important part in ensuring effective and timely sharing of information.

When the EU needs to exchange classified information with Third Countries on a regular basis they negotiate and conclude arrangements for exchanging and protecting classified information with the EU through a Security of Information Agreement (SoIA). SoIAs are legally binding agreements between the EU and the Third Country. They do not outline detailed technical provisions, but set the legal framework in order to facilitate such exchanges.

Both the UK and EU will also wish to explore appropriate arrangements covering the exchange and protection of sensitive non-classified information.