January 2012 : Proposed new draft EU Data Protection Regulation
A draft version of the proposed new EU DP law prepared by the European Commission was recently leaked http://amberhawk.typepad.com/amberhawk/2012/01/the-regulation-what-are-the-big-changes-to-the-data-protection-act-regime.html This is anticipated to be formally published in January 2012 possibly following further revision and has since been announced (25th Jan 2012).
To become EU law applicable to all Member States it will require consent by both the Council of Ministers (which includes HM Government) and the European Parliament (which includes British MEPs). If enacted this would replace the current EU Directive EC/95/46 on which our current 1998 UK Data Protection Act is based
Technical Note: There are 2 kinds of EU law - EU Regulations which apply directly and EU Directives which are applied in each jurisdiction via national legislation. An EU Regulation provides less scope for differing national interpretations than an EU Directive.