Part 6 – Dispute Settlement and Horizontal Provisions
Title I: Dispute settlement
This Agreement includes dispute resolution mechanisms that are appropriate for a relationship between sovereign equals. This means that there is no role for the Court of Justice of the European Union. All these mechanisms are fully reciprocal and equally available to both parties.
For certain areas of cooperation there is a process of consultations between the Parties, followed by independent arbitration if there is still disagreement. If the arbitration panel finds that there has been a breach, the Party at fault must either rectify the breach, or agree to provide suitable compensation. If it does not do either, then the other Party can suspend obligations in response to any imbalance identified. Conditions and limitations apply to cross-suspension in some areas.
Disputes relating to participation in Union programmes can also be subject to independent arbitration. There are also a series of specific conditions whereby the UK or EU can suspend or terminate participation in Union
For SSC, only disputes related to the way in which the EU or UK have enabled individuals to enforce their rights may be arbitrated. Individual’s cases may not. In health security and cyber security, both sides can use the consultation process to resolve any problems that might arise. Given these areas concern the sharing of information and cooperation where it is in the Parties’ mutual interest to do so, this governance mechanism is appropriate.
Title II: Basis for cooperation
To underpin cooperation under this Agreement, the UK and EU have restated existing commitments to human rights, the rule of law, the fight against climate change and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The UK and EU have also restated commitments in other areas – including small arms and light weapons, serious crimes of concern to the international community, counter-terrorism, and issues of shared economic, environmental and social interest.
The UK and EU have restated their commitment to high personal data protection standards, which contribute to trust in the digital economy and to the development of trade, and are key enabler for effective law enforcement cooperation.
Title III: Fulfilment of obligations and safeguard measures
In the event a serious economic, societal or environmental difficulty arises and is likely to persist, the UK or the EU unilaterally may take strictly proportionate and time-limited measures to remedy the situation.
Part 7 – Final Provisions
This Part provides for a range of provisions that apply across the agreement, such as when and how the Agreement enters into force, and the authentic languages of the agreement.
It provides for a review of the agreement between the EU and the UK every five years. It also provides for the procedure to be followed if a new country accedes to the EU.
This agreement applies without prejudice to any previous bilateral agreement between the UK and the EU. Both parties reaffirm their obligations to implement any such agreement.
Either the UK or EU may decide to terminate the Agreement with 12 months’ notice. This overall termination clause is without prejudice to other termination clauses in the Agreement; certain areas of cooperation have bespoke termination clauses, meaning that either Party can decide to cease cooperation in these areas without the whole agreement being terminated.
This Part also includes a provision to provide for the continued free flow of personal data from the EU and EEA EFTA States to the UK until adequacy decisions are adopted, and for no longer than 6 months. The UK has, on a transitional basis, deemed the EU and EEA EFTA States to be adequate to allow for data flows from the UK.
This Chapter specifies that the Agreement applies to the United Kingdom and, in some respects, to the Crown Dependencies (see below). Given the EU’s clear position that it did not have the competence to negotiate on them, this Agreement does not apply to the overseas countries and territories of the EU and nor does it apply to the UK’s Overseas Territories.
The UK, Gibraltar and Spain will continue to negotiate arrangements to seek the best possible outcome for the people of Gibraltar and the surrounding region. The Commission have confirmed that a separate UK-EU agreement on Gibraltar is possible and that they stand ready to examine any request from Spain and the UK to take this forward.
The Agreement between the UK and the EU includes arrangements relating to the trade in goods between the Crown Dependencies and the EU and sets out provisions for mutual fisheries access.
Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
The UK and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) have agreed a separate Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA). An NCA is a commonly used international treaty which gives a legal underpinning to civil nuclear cooperation, and both Euratom and the UK already have similar agreements with several other countries.
The UK and Euratom are global leaders in supporting responsible practices in civil nuclear, particularly non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. This NCA demonstrates that both parties are fully committed to cooperation on civil nuclear, including safeguards, safety, and security. In particular, it provides and facilitates:
- robust mutual assurances that traded nuclear material will remain subject to safeguards (part of global nuclear non-proliferation);
- a comprehensive framework and key assurances for transfers of nuclear materials and related items, including procedures for retransfers to third countries;
- a long-term legal basis for future cooperation on research and development in both nuclear fission and nuclear fusion;
- close cooperation on the supply and availability of medical radioisotopes.
Mutual commitments to improving global standards, cooperation, and sharing of information and technical expertise in relation to nuclear safety, including the UK’s participation, as a third country, in systems such as the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE) and the European Radiological Data Exchange Platform (EURDEP).
While this NCA provides the legal framework for long-term cooperation, the basis for the UK’s participation in the Euratom Research and Training Programme for the period 2021-2025 and “Fusion for Energy” is set out in Part 5 (Participation in Union Programmes) of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Agreement on Security Procedures for Exchanging and Protecting Classified Information
We have negotiated an Agreement on Security Procedures for Exchanging and Protecting Classified Information. This will supplement the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and facilitate the voluntary exchange of classified information. In line with well-established precedent between the EU and other countries, this Agreement will govern how such information is shared and predicted.
The UK and EU will protect the classified information of the other to the same standards as they would their own informations