UK Internal Market Bill

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On 16 July 2020, the UK Government published a White Paper setting out proposals for a UK internal market.  A consultation period on these proposals has now started and will run to 13 August 2020.  Legislation is expected to follow in Autumn 2020, prior to the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

Overview

The white paper sets out UK Government proposals to enshrine in law two principles to protect the flow of goods and services across the UK after the end of the transition period:

  • the principle of mutual recognition; and
  • the principle of non-discrimination

Mutual recognition means that the rules governing the production and sale of goods and services in one part of the UK are recognised in the other parts of the UK, and should present no barrier to the flow of goods and services between different regulatory systems.

Non-discrimination means that it is not possible for one regulatory regime to introduce rules that discriminate specifically against goods and services from another.

As this is a white paper rather than a set of detailed legislative proposals, it is not clear exactly how the UK Government plans to approach enshrining the internal market in legislation. It does however give an indication of the UK Government’s high-level thinking in this area.

SPICe briefing

SPICe has published a series of blog articles covering the white paper and the UK Government’s proposals: