Common frameworks

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What is a common framework?

A common framework is an agreed approach to a particular policy, including the implementation and governance of it.

What do common frameworks do?

Common frameworks help to make sure that there is some degree of consistency in policy and practice.

Find the answers to some frequently asked questionson common frameworks.

Why are common frameworks being developed in the UK?

Common frameworks are needed after the UK’s exit from the EU to make sure that policies don’t diverge in different countries in the UK where that would be undesirable.

In many policy areas, EU laws have ensured that there is a consistent approach across the UK, even where these policy areas are devolved.  This is because the UK and all of its governments have had to comply with EU law. In effect, this compliance has meant that the same policy has been followed.

After the UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020, there is a transition period until 31 December 2020. Through the transition period the UK will continue to comply with EU law. After the end of the transition period, there is a possibility of policy divergence because different countries within the UK will no longer need to comply with EU law. Common frameworks can be developed so that rules and regulations in certain areas remain the same, or at least similar, across the UK.

What’s the Scottish Parliament’s role in common frameworks?

As part of its scrutiny role, the Parliament needs to be able to consider the Scottish Government’s approach to and development of common frameworks.

The Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament have therefore worked together to produce a protocol for the sharing of information on common frameworks.

The committees of the Scottish Parliament will lead on common frameworks in their policy area. The Finance and Constitution Committee has a role in considering the wider implications of common frameworks and the constitutional impact of them.

You can find out more about the work of each committee below. If you’re not sure which committee is considering a specific common framework, you can take a look at our handy guide.