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EU Environment Sub-Committee report on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement published

23 March 2021

The House of Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee has published its report on what the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) means for food trade, fisheries, environment and climate change, energy and carbon pricing, chemicals and health.


On 24 December 2020, four and a half years after the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, negotiators representing the two sides finally agreed the terms of the future UK-EU relationship and published the TCA.

The report

People rely on food, energy, healthcare, and a clean and safe environment every day. They are fundamental to our existence and access to each of these, for individuals and businesses, will be shaped by the TCA. On Tuesday 23 March 2021, the EU Environment Sub-Committee has published the second EU Committee report on the impact of the TCA, focussing on these areas, and reached the following conclusions:

  • The Committee finds food producers are facing new trade barriers in the form of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, extra paperwork, increased haulage costs and outright export bans on some products as a result of the TCA.
  • The report notes many of the barriers facing the fishing industry as a result of the TCA will be long-term, despite the Government’s description of them as ‘teething problems’. These new challenges disproportionately affect smaller fishing operators.
  • The Committee believes linking emissions trading schemes with the EU, as enabled by the TCA, would both benefit the UK and provide a positive signal ahead of COP26.
  • The priority given to climate change in the TCA and the acknowledgement that it is the most serious challenge of our time is welcomed by the Committee.
  • On chemicals the Committee notes that divergence between the UK and EU REACH systems would increase compliance costs for the UK chemicals sector and urges the Government to avoid divergence for divergence's sake.

It follows the EU Committee’s report on the TCA’s institutional framework, and the EU Services Sub-Committee, the EU Goods Sub-Committee and the EU Security and Justice Sub-Committee are publishing their reports later this week.

Further information