Reviewing the Trade and Cooperation Agreement: potential paths

Think tank: UK in a Changing Europe

Author(s): Jannike Wachowiak; Joël Reland

September 19, 2023

This report from UK think tank UK in a Changing Europe looks at the potential paths for the Trade and Cooperation Agreement

On Christmas Eve 2020 the UK and EU finally agreed a treaty to regulate their relationship post Brexit. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement was provisionally applied from 1 January 2021 and formally ratified in April. Among its numerous provisions, the treaty contains Article 776 stating that, ‘The Parties shall jointly review the implementation of this Agreement and supplementing agreements and any matters related thereto five years after the entry into force of this Agreement and every five years thereafter.’ Within the UK at least, many are looking to this review to deliver significant changes to the relationship. This report examines those provisions within the TCA and reflects on what might or might not reasonably be achieved in the context of the review. The report proposes three models which the review could follow: a technical check, acting on unfulfilled commitments, and widening the scope of the TCA.