Briefings TJM Analysis of the EU-UK Trade Agreement

READING TIME 45 mins mins

TJM Analysis of the EU-UK Trade Agreement

MPs will consider the EU-UK trade deal on the 30th December. The Trade Justice Movement welcomes the deal, however this briefing highlights a number of concerns regarding the process for agreeing the deal and the provisions it contains.

  • Scrutiny: MPs have had less than a week to consider this deal. For other deals of far less importance, MPs are given 21 sitting days. The EU has chosen a different route: provisionally applying the deal so MEPs still have time to ratify it. The UK government should do something similar to give MPs a say on the deal.
  • Strategy: negotiations on the deal appear to have taken place in a silo. The UK has no overarching strategy to ensure a joined-up approach to policy in significant areas such as trade, Covid and climate change.
  • Standards: the deal contains elements of a level playing field, but is a missed opportunity to collaborate with the EU to maintain high standards. The deal risks a race to the bottom.
  • Climate change: action on climate change is referred to as an 'essential element' of the deal; however the provisions are mostly symbolic and non-binding.
  • Public services: there is no carve-out for the NHS, with worrying implications for the government's ability to regulate in the public interest. Although a number of public services are excluded, others are very much 'on the table'.
  • Border friction: although the UK will have duty-free, quota-free access to eU markets, there will be a significant amount of new 'red tape' at the border, including rules of origin, health and plant safety checks. This will mean costs and delays that could disproportionately affect goods coming from developing countries via the EU


EU Brexit Post-Brexit trade deal Level Playing Field Frictionless trade