Brexit and Trade

6977Neil Baylis, Partner, Dispute Resolution

Editor's Note: The UK/EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement

1 January 2021 saw the end of the Transition Period and the UK finally complete its legal separation from the European Union. Shortly beforehand the EU and UK agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), setting out in just over 1200 pages, arrangements for future trade in goods and services, security and general cooperation.

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Brexit and Trade: Goods and Services

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the "TCA") provides for tariff and quota free trade in goods between the UK and EU. This is undoubtedly welcome news to businesses operating between the two territories.

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The EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: Digital Trade

The UK Government has described the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) agreed between the UK and EU as containing "some of the most liberalising and modern digital trade provisions in the world".

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The EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and Intellectual Property Rights

The EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), in force from 1 January 2021, contains a number of provisions relating to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights.

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The TCA: Employment law

The TCA includes provisions that safeguard the current levels of worker protection (to the extent that they apply across all member states). There are however areas where the UK may choose in the future to diverge from EU employment law in what may perhaps be termed a specific and limited way.

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Brexit and Trade: The Automotive Sector

According to the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), the UK automotive industry generates more than £78.9 billion in turnover and adds £15.3 billion value to the UK economy. Of the c 1.3 million cars manufactured in the UK in 2019 80% were made for export, with more than half of the exports heading for the EU and the USA second at around 19% of export volumes.

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The UK/EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement: Life Sciences

The UK/EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) has ensured tariff free trade, preventing disruption of supply of medicinal products and medical devices between the EU and UK, provided that criteria relating to rules of origin are met (and with separate rules for Northern Ireland).

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Brexit and Aviation

One of the major concerns about a "no-deal" Brexit was the potential for serious harm to the aviation industry and to the availability of passenger and freight services.

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