The impact of Brexit on Trade Defence Instruments
On 24 December 2020, the European Union (“EU”) and the United Kingdom (“UK”) concluded a “Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part” (“EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement” or “TCA”).
The TCA was ratified by the UK on 31 December 2020. The EU started to apply the TCA on a provisional basis on 1 January 2021. The European Parliament and the European Council of Ministers will have to ratify it by the end of February 2021.
The TCA defines the specific terms of the relationship between the EU and the UK, following the end of the transition period, which was governed by the Withdrawal Agreement, and therefore the departure of the UK from the EU Single Market (comprising the free movement of persons, goods, services and the freedom of capital) and the EU customs union. The TCA establishes a free trade area between the EU and the UK by ensuring no tariffs or quotas on trade in goods that have preferential origin of either party. However, as of 1 January 2021, the EU and the UK form two distinct markets each governed by its own rules, including those relating to trade defence instruments (TDIs).
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