On 9 February the ETUI and the UK TUC organised a webinar to discuss the findings of a new report "Protecting workers’ rights using the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement" that analyses the workers’ rights and social provisions of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
The EU-UK TCA goes beyond the approach taken on labour standards contained in the other free trade agreements concluded by the EU, with countries such as Canada or South Korea. It contains commitments to uphold high standards – Level Playing Field clauses - with the possibility to impose sanctions for violations of these standards. The TCA also underpins the commitment to make progress in implementing all ratified ILO Conventions.
In the webinar Professor Federico Ortino, author of the analysis set out how trade unions on both sides can use the TCA to challenge attacks on rights. Securing stronger sustainability provisions in trade agreements, and a stronger role for trade unions in the implementation, is a key objective of ETUC. The analysis also sets out some proposals to feed into the 2026 review of the TCA.
Improvements on labour standards reflected in the EU UK TCA may help strengthen provisions in other agreements, including in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and respectively Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
For more details of the ETUI event The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement one year on