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The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement – Exceptional Circumstances or a new Paradigm for EU External Relations?
Modern Law Review  (IF1.779),  Pub Date : 2021-10-20, DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.12698
Christina Eckes, Päivi Leino-Sandberg

In the final days of 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom concluded a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) covering a broad range of policy areas, including cooperation of law enforcement authorities and social security systems. The EU-UK TCA is unique as concerns the circumstances of its negotiation and adoption, as well as its substance. However, contrary to the argument of the EU institutions, the agreement will have broad implications for the understanding of the EU's external competence and Member States’ ability to act in areas that are national competence and rely on national budgets. We are critical of the legitimacy of the TCA's conclusion process, consider that the lack of a deep constitutional analysis of the consequences of EU-only conclusion of the TCA, and of the TCA itself, are problematic, and believe that the choices made are likely to create difficulties for the implementation and enforcement of the agreement.