UK ratification and implementation process
The UK has a dualist legal system, in which an international treaty ratified by the Government, although binding in international law, does not alter the laws of the state unless and until the treaty is incorporated into domestic law by legislation. This means that the UK Parliament has to pass implementing legislation before an international treaty can have effect. The European Union (Future Relationship) Bill is expected to be approved by the UK Parliament on 30 December, under a fast-track legislation procedure.
The TCA will then enter into force provisionally in the UK from 1 January, until the ratification procedure is completed later in January.
EU ratification and implementation process
The clock is actually still ticking… for ratification
The European Commission presented the TCA as an EU-only agreement with a limited provisional application to solve the imminent timing issue. It also requires the approval of EU Member States, the United Kingdom and European parliaments, with a retrospective vote in European Parliament expected in January 2021. EU Ambassadors have given their green light and unanimously approved the provisional application of the TCA. Final adoption of the text by EU Member States will have to be done via written procedure with a “note of consent” to the Council of the EU.