Britain Vetoes US-EU Surveillance Talks

Only More Limited 'Working Group' to Be Allowed

European Union proposals for broad talks with the United States over American surveillance of EU ambassadors and broad surveillance of EU citizens won’t take place, following a veto by the British government.

Britain’s veto means that only a single “working group” aimed at discussing issues of data privacy with the US will be allowed, and the broader issue of surveillance will be “off-limits” for the EU to approach with America.

The “why” behind this is fairly straightforward, as the US had extensive data-sharing agreements with Britain, which it considers a “second-party” nation, and Britain was known to be a beneficiary of US surveillance against the rest of the world, even other EU member nations, none of whom were in the same position of priviledge.

It still remains to be seen what this will mean for the trade talks with the US on a $127 billion trade deal, which several EU member nations insisted be conditioned on cooperation in probes that Britain will not allow to happen.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of