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Internal Market Bill impact on devolution examined Committee

13 October 2020

The Welsh Affairs Committee is to hold a one-off session on Thursday to explore the Internal Market Bill’s implications for devolution in the UK.

Witnesses

At 9.30

  • Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law and Human Rights, Durham University
  • Professor Jo Hunt, Professor at Law, Cardiff University
  • Professor Nicola McEwen, Co-Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change, and Professor of Territorial Politics, Edinburgh University

The Bill, introduced on 9 September, makes provision for the functioning of an internal market within the UK to replace the EU internal market structures which the UK will leave when the transition period comes to an end on 1 January 2021.

The Bill provides for mutual recognition of product standards across the UK’s four nations and would also give greater freedom to UK Government ministers to spend money across the UK, including in devolved areas.

The UK Government argues that the proposed law is necessary to secure economic opportunities and support frictionless and fair trade across the UK. However, on 17 September, the Finance Ministers of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolved governments jointly expressed concerns that the Bill would “override the existing devolution settlement”.

A panel of legal and constitutional experts are likely to be asked about:

  • what the Internal Market Bill means for trade across the UK and how this interacts with laws made in the devolved nations;
  • the potential for the UK Government to bypass the devolved administrations in distributing funds; and
  • the impact of the Senedd withholding consent for the Bill.

Further information

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