The United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020, which became law on 17 December 2020, will govern the trading relationship between the nations of the UK.
But there has been strong opposition from the Scottish and Welsh governments. The internal market will have significant implications for the governments, parliaments, regulators, courts and businesses in all parts of the UK, and concerns have been raised about its implications for devolved policy making.
This paper sets out what the Act will mean and what steps the UK government needs to take to manage the UK internal market and ensure it works in the long-term.
- Establishing trust in the Office for the Internal Market, the new body responsible for overseeing the functioning of the UK internal market
- Clarifying how the market access principles, which are tended to prevent the emergence of trade barriers within the UK, will be enforced
- Creating a joined-up approach to the UK internal market to manage regulatory divergence between the four nations
- Facilitating parliamentary scrutiny arrangements for the UK internal market
- Considering how the long-term implications for devolution will be assessed.