What is the Trade and Cooperation Agreement?
The UK and EU agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on 24 December 2020. It establishes arrangements for future co-operation across a range of areas including trade, aviation, road haulage, fisheries, police and security, health insurance and continued UK participation in some EU programmes. The UK parliament approved the TCA on 30 December 2020, and, after a period of “provisional application” by the EU, the European Parliament followed suit on 28 April 2021.
Alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, ratified in January 2020, the TCA forms the basis of UK-EU relations going forward. A joint UK-EU Partnership Council governs the TCA, to ensure it is properly implemented and can change elements if both sides agree. Both agreements contain mechanisms to resolve disputes that may arise. There is provision for a full review in five years’ time.