The main photo is a satellite image of EU Member State countries lit up at night.

The main photo is a satellite image of EU Member State countries lit up at night.

Wales and the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Published 24/05/2022   |   Reading Time minutes

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) sets up the UK-EU relationship following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

This series summarises key parts of the agreement and what it means for Wales. More guides will be added as they become available.

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The UK formally withdrew from the EU on 31 December 2019 and entered a transition period while the terms of their future relationship were negotiated.

On 24 December 2020, the UK and EU announced that they had reached agreement in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) alongside a number of other agreements and joint statements.

The agreement applied provisionally from 1 January 2021, pending UK and EU ratification. It entered fully into force on 1 May 2021.

The TCA follows the Withdrawal Agreement which set the terms for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Both agreements remain in force.

The UK and EU have agreed that the TCA will govern future agreements between the:

  • UK-EU;
  • UK-EU plus EU 27 Member States; and
  • UK-Euratom bilateral agreements

unless otherwise provided for in the agreements themselves. These agreements are called ‘supplementing agreements’ in the TCA and form part of the overall framework as an integral part of UK-EU bilateral relations.

Institutional Framework

The TCA establishes 24 new committees and working groups to oversee its implementation and application. The participation of civil society is also provided for, as well as parliamentary cooperation between the UK and European Parliaments.

The Institutional Framework guide explains the post-Brexit institutional framework between the UK and EU.

Level Playing Field

The Level Playing Field guide explains the level playing field, which aims to maintain open and fair competition for UK-EU trade and investment, in a manner conducive to sustainable development.


The Fisheries guide explains new fisheries arrangements between the UK and EU.

Environment, Climate and Energy

The Environment, Climate and Energy guide explains the TCA’s environment, climate and energy provisions.

Human rights

The human rights guide explains the TCA’s human rights provisions.

Article by Sara Moran, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament