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Anjum Shabbir
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2nd February 2021
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Editorial Comment: “The Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the UK: A Hard Brexit in Sheep’s Clothing”

What a Christmas gift for legal academics and practitioners, given to us on Christmas Eve by the European Commission and the British Government: the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom (TCA). The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the deal a ‘cakeist Treaty’ as in ‘having your cake and eating it’. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen used less pathos and proclaimed: ‘It’s time to leave Brexit behind. Our future is made in Europe.’ The Agreement was largely hailed as a last-minute deal that avoided the cliff-edge of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’: a withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the realm of EU law without any form of fall-back. Whilst the formula of ‘no tariffs, zero quotas’

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