UK Internal Market – White Paper consultation

UK Internal Market – White Paper consultation

20 Jul 2020

From 1 January 2021, hundreds of powers previously exercised at EU level will flow directly to the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast. Devolved administrations will have unprecedented regulatory freedom within new UK frameworks, allowing them to benefit from opportunities to innovate.

To allow each home nation to take full advantage of these new opportunities, and ensure businesses can continue to trade freely across the UK as they do now, the UK Government is consulting on legislating for a UK Internal Market.

Northern Ireland sells more to the rest of the UK than to all EU member states combined. Scotland sells more to the rest of the UK than to the rest of the world put together. And in some parts of Wales, a quarter of workers commute in from England on a daily basis. Under the plans in this White Paper, the UK will continue to operate as a coherent Internal Market.

A Market Access Commitment will guarantee UK companies can trade unhindered in every part of the United Kingdom – ensuring the continued prosperity and wellbeing of people and businesses across all four nations. At the same time, the UK will maintain its high standards for consumers and workers.

The consultation seeks the views of businesses, academics, consumer groups and trade unions on the policy options set out in this White Paper through proposals to enshrine in law two principles to protect the flow of goods and services in the UK’s Internal Market: the principle of mutual recognition, and the principle of non-discrimination.

The consultation asks:

  1. Do you agree that the government should seek to mitigate against both ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ discrimination in areas which affect the provision of goods and services?
  2. What areas do you think should be covered by non-discrimination but not mutual recognition?
  3. What would be the most effective way of implementing the two functions outlined above? Should particular aspects be delivered through existing vehicles or through bespoke arrangements?
  4. How should the Government best ensure that these functions are carried out independently, ensure the smooth functioning of the Internal Market and are fully representative of the interests of businesses and consumers across the whole of the UK?

For more details see the White Paper . FPC will be responding on behalf of members to the consultation which closes on 13 August 2020.